Published: February 10, 2014 | Comments
Is your contact center ready and equipped to support social media? Are your agents?
While social channels may be new to your contact center, make no mistake – your customers are social experts and they are very comfortable communicating in this channel. When leveraged effectively, social media can be a powerful customer service tool, but it requires a different workflow, a new type of agent, and a new strategy in order to be effective.
In the social world, once a post is out there – there’s no taking it back. Ensuring that your agents have the skills and training they need to effectively update, respond and support social media channels on behalf of your company and brand is absolutely critical to your success.
So, how can you prepare your contact center for this dynamic, fast-paced social environment while maintaining high service levels and delivering a consistent customer experience?
Who are the new social agents?
Early on, social engagement often fell to marketing or dedicated customer care teams. But today, more and more companies are shifting these channels to the contact center.
What makes social sites like Twitter and Facebook so complex is their very public nature. Once something is posted, it’s out there for the world to see and there is no going back.
With this transparency and super-fast pace, these channels require an agent with a specific skill set. Agents updating social media sites and responding to customer posts must not only be extremely knowledgeable about your company’s products, services and positioning, but must also be socially savvy and have strong written communication skills so that they can effectively represent your brand.
The most effective contact centers are those that work with marketing to develop a strong social strategy to train agents based on best practices for responding to social posts and interactions. Clear rules of engagement are defined, along with guidelines for how to respond, and agents have the written communication skills they need to engage with customers on a professional level that well-represents the brand.
Balancing for social – always be prepared.
Since social updates and responses require a special set of skills, many centers have created dedicated teams of agents to focus solely on manning these channels. The problem with this approach is that many agents are left waiting – sometimes for hours at a time – for posts that require a response.
Even the most efficient contact centers don’t have 100% forecasting accuracy. There will always be times when there are too many agents in one channel and not enough in another. The most effective centers use intraday management technology to create a real-time workforce that can automatically adjust, balancing the workload across all channels.
This technology allows you to blend social channels into the incoming call center by monitoring social sites – through the use of key words – routing them by business rules, and alerting skilled agents when there is a response required.
Agents can get prepared for social during natural downtimes in call volume so that they can float between channels, maintaining service levels across peaks and valleys in volume.
These new multi-skilled agents are not only able to handle interactions in more than one service channel, which reduces the need to increase headcount, but are also more engaged and satisfied overall because they experience more variety in their day.
And as agent satisfaction increases, so does retention.
With intraday management technology, agents are better prepared, more productive, more satisfied, and able to deliver a higher level of customer service across all channels. The result is a frontline workforce that is always ready to provide an outstanding customer experience – no matter which channel the customer chooses to communicate.
Intradiem, formerly Knowlagent, is the leader in intraday management solutions for multi-channel contact centers. Intradiem’s customers achieve an invincible customer experience with a real-time workforce. Intradiem’s solutions automate manual processes such as intraday task management, intraday staffing, reskilling, channel balancing, and real-time alerts to ensure front-line workforces are poised to react to whatever the market throws their way. More than 450,000 contact center, field service, retail, bank branch, and back office employees around the world use Intradiem’s solution every day. For more information, call 888-566-9457 or visit www.intradiem.com.