I’ve been doing a fair amount of research lately on the various ways social media is used in the call center— common strategies and objectives, metrics, visibility, the whole nine yards. I find it interesting that several years ago a select few companies dove right into using social media in the call center, in a no holds barred approach, while some are still sitting back and observing in terror (and of course all the stages in between).
My research has shown me that one of the biggest fears call center managers, supervisors and executives seem to have is agents getting carried away with social media tasks and either not focusing on their customer service jobs (and instead checking in with their friends and tweeting nasty messages about supervisors) or putting out incorrect information that harms the brand.
While it’s true that not every Joe Schmo should be trusted to respond publicly on the internet to your customers, using social media as a motivational tool for agents that have consistently provided outstanding service should alleviate these fears. Just like you wouldn’t hand the keys to your new Jaguar over to your 15 year old neighbor, you shouldn’t hand the “keyboard reins” over to every agent in your call center.
Focusing on agents who have proven they provide outstanding customer service, via phone or chat, will help you select the right people to be social media ambassadors in your center. “Promoting” these customer service representatives to be your online brand ambassadors will motivate all your agents to provide outstanding customer service.
Your new online brand ambassadors (fancy new job title optional) have already shown they know how to handle customers in a positive manner, now you just need to train them to translate those skills to the wide world of social media. Be sure to work with your HR, marketing and public relations departments ahead of time to have rules and guidelines in place to cover everything from appropriately responding to negative feedback (especially being cautious of the tone your response projects) to whether agents can take time to use social media for personal use at work. Make these guidelines (and the consequences if they’re broken) very clear to everyone that will be providing service and support through social media.
Just remember— it takes time to perfect new processes, but don’t let this deter you from diving in and experimenting until you get it right. Who knows, you may end up setting the standards for your industry and having a blog post written about you on InsideInova.com one day!
How has your call center approached social media? What rules and regulations have you put in place for agents that use social media for service and support?