Over the years, the dynamics of customer service have undergone a considerable transformation. Call centers have evolved from providing just voice support to omnichannel contact centers having provisions for email and live chat support. This change was brought about as more and more people embraced the digital revolution in the 90s.
Today, we are amidst another wave of transformation with social media at its epicenter. The tech-savvy millennials are today’s purchasers and decision-makers. The lives of this generation revolve around social media. A less than optimal brand experience results in a negative tweet for the world to see. From there on, it becomes imperative for the brand to actively engage and minimize damage.
In the given reality, it has become critical for brands to develop a mechanism that provides a seamless and consistent customer experience across all channels including social media. According to a Deloitte survey, while 90% of companies look to deliver a consistent customer experience across channels, only 11% achieve that. A synergy between social media marketing and contact center operations is essential to move closer to this much desired omnichannel experience.
The changing landscape that makes way for social media contact center
Rise in the role of social messaging in customer service
As of January 2021, the global social media penetration stands at a staggering 53.6%, with users spending an average of 145 minutes a day surfing social networks. The ubiquity of social media is leading more and more people to use this channel to communicate with brands in a quick, easy and reliable way. This is corroborated by a Facebook survey which pointed that 64% of people prefer to message rather than call a business. In fact, among the people surveyed, 69% in the US and 66% in the UK say that being able to message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand. In developing economies like India (79%) and Brazil (76%), the numbers are even higher.
According to eMarketer, bad customer service is the number one reason (60%) internet users refrain from buying from a brand. As social media marketing gets more mainstream, brands need to integrate it as part of their customer service ecosystem. Apart from convenience, social media also enables brands to provide a personalized experience, which customers demand. As per a Facebook survey, 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
The growing importance of organic social media marketing
Another distinctive advantage of social media that no other channel can provide is proactive engagement with customers. Effective social listening with an ear-to-ground approach enables brands to sense any brewing issues and address them immediately before the customer even reaches out for assistance. This is something which is impossible to achieve on other channels without being excessively intrusive.
The siloed approach of social media marketing and contact center teams
Lack of unified view of a customer’s omnichannel interactions
Brands have taken significant steps to improve their social media presence and online engagement levels with their customers. However, social media remains largely a part of the marketing function.
Contact center teams are usually isolated from social media conversations because of the siloed nature of operations. As a result, customer service agents are not privy to the customer’s conversation with the brand on social media. This only leads to more frustration as customers have to repeat themselves multiple times to different agents.
Lack of synergy in query handling
Marketing teams are adept at handling brand communications and campaign management, whereas contact center teams specialize in resolving customer queries. A collaboration between these two teams is of utmost importance since social media receives a massive volume of customer queries related to product information, order tracking, troubleshooting, etc. Merely directing the customers to contact centers is not enough. Maintaining the proper background of the query and redirecting it to the correct department is essential.
How can one up the game?
The Marketing function needs to work in tandem with the contact center team to make it a fulfilling experience. The key here is to maintain a single view of the customer across all channels, which is visible to all customer touchpoints within an organization.
Documentation of every customer interaction goes a step forward in providing a personalized brand experience. Customers feel that the brand is valuing their choices and preferences. It also makes the job of customer service agents easier. They can quickly equip themselves with customer history instead of bearing the brunt of an agitated customer having to repeat himself. A consolidated history of customer interactions also helps brands personalize communications with relevant offers and promotions.
Here’s what your business can do
- Adopting Martech solutions to automate as many social media conversations as possible and filter out redundant messages/comments/content.
- Setting up a classification mechanism to identify queries directed to contact center.
- Integrating CRM with social media marketing and contact center interactions.
- Cross-training social media marketing team to handle certain elementary aspects of contact center operations.
- Engaging brand champions to interact with the contact center team and inform them about the latest promotions, campaigns, and the direction the brand is taking.
According to Forrester, digital customer service interactions will increase by 40% in 2021. It is about time brands took the plunge and strengthened their social media narrative.
If you are interested in learning how Wipro helps its clients streamline their operations and provide a seamless omnichannel experience, contact us.