We all know that companies are trying to leverage social channels for customer service. But how can they be deployed in a way that adds value to an organization? Here are my thoughts:
You can’t implement social technologies in a silo within your contact center because you have to be able to deliver a consistent experience across the communication channels you support: voice, the electronic ones, and the social ones. Read my blog post on how you can do this.
Once you get the basics right, you are ready to add social media capabilities. Best practices include:
Start by listening to customer conversations. These conversations can surface general issues with products, services, and company processes. Make sure you create workflows to route surfaced issues to the correct organization so they can be worked on.
Flag and address social inquiries. Understand the general sentiments expressed in these conversations, but also identify specific customer inquiries and route them to the right agent pool for resolution.
Extend your customer service ecosystem with communities. This allows your customers to share information, best practices, and how-to tips with each other, as well as get advice without needing to interact with your agents. But don’t implement them in a technology silo; they should be well-integrated with current contact center processes.
For those of you that put up with my tweeting on Twitter, you will already know that I am obsessed with customer service. Or to be more accurate, I am obsessed with being treated like a customer. While a polite Englishman at heart, I am not prepared to tolerate poor customer service. In the words of David/Bruce Banner, “You won’t like me when I am angry.”
“But what has this to do with ITIL?” I hear you screaming at your screen. Please bear with me as I recount last Saturday night and Sunday morning (thankfully there is no link to the film of the same name).
Last weekend I spent a single night at a “chain” hotel. The customer service upon arrival was excellent, on the back of my loyalty card I received a room upgrade and complimentary soft drinks and chocolate bars in the room. Ah, the world was good and I was “living the dream.” I felt like a valued customer. Fast-forward to the following morning and the picture couldn’t have been more different.
During the night the room had been so hot that it was difficult to sleep. “You should have turned down the heating or opened the window,” I hear you cry. Check and check. The wall-mounted thermostat made no difference. The window, somewhat morbidly, had been screwed shut. I didn’t call down to reception as I couldn’t face a handyman/woman messing around in my room in the middle of the night (if they were actually available).
Somebody please tell that to my health insurance company, which has annoyed me greatly this week. I’ve been receiving increasingly threatening letters from them, starting a few weeks ago just before I headed out for a long vacation. I didn’t think too much about it at the time but, a week after returning from vacation, I noticed the letters were now coming from a law firm. Yikes! I called them.
Turns out, my physical therapy claims for a chronic condition were under scrutiny. Microscopic scrutiny. “Could it have been the result of an automobile accident, and the other driver was at fault?” they asked. Or “Were you injured at work and should be filing for worker’s compensation?” Or was it some other kind of accident with nefarious connections of some sort? The claims subrogration unit was on the case and determined to make another party pay.
Exasperated, I told them that it was for a chronic condition diagnosed several years ago and all the information was on file and up to date, since I regularly see physicians for that condition and had been referred by a physician to physical therapy. Then they asked me to spell out the condition. I had steam coming out of my ears at that point. Why bother to have a file about me if they aren’t going to look at it, make it available to people calling me, and keep it up to date? Could they have worked this into their process before sending threatening letters and calling me?