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Social Media: It's Not Just for Fun Anymore

It’s true, social media isn’t just for fun. People get things done on Facebook and Twitter and in online communities.

In a recent ICMI QuickPoll, 61% of respondents said their call center is a part of their organizations’ social media strategy. I think that’s a positive step. As we learned from Erik Qualman, author of the best-selling book Socialnomics and keynote presenter at ACCE 2011, we’re already feeling the impacts of social media in the business world. It’s not just flaming rants (even the 140-character kind), but cries for help, as well, no matter how veiled they are. What customers want is not to be “talked to” through social media channels, but to be heard – and helped. 

As we looked at some of the social media best practices uncovered at ACCE 2011 and in other socially savvy call centers, we find that this channel has a definite mission in customer service. Additionally, what we know about even the least technologically sophisticated call centers is that they’re a font of customer intelligence on everything from product reviews to corporate reputations. 

If your center is one of those that is a part of the organization’s social media strategy, is it following these guidelines?

1.    Listen (monitor activity around key words)

2.    Handle (be prepared and make sure you’re manning the store)

a.    Be proactive (but not rash)

b.    Conform service to the channel’s parameters

3.    Measure

Does your social media strategy have other guidelines or goals?

Share them with the ICMI Community here.

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Ken W — 2:13PM on Jul 10, 2011

One I would add to that list is "Be honest and humble" in your response. Unlike traditional 1-on-1 conversations with customers, the public nature of social media communication makes it impossible to spin or deflect blame. Even if it isn't your fault.

In most of the stories we've heard, the companies that were the most open, honest and self-deprecating got the biggest wins from their social media interactions.