Social media has emerged as a vital component of an organization’s communication and promotional activities. Is there any other crucial use companies are missing? A study by DMS Consulting Inc. (2011) found that over 70% of customer interactions on social media platforms were related to customer service. This key channel, however, requires a customized approach for quality monitoring and integration. While engaging in public conversations, individual comments are available to a far reaching audience. Employees who engage in these conversations are spokespersons and they assume responsibility to capture the attention of the audience, ensure accuracy of facts while they protect and promote their brand.

Social Media in Quality Monitoring and Coaching

Social media can be integrated into your quality monitoring and coaching program just as how these processes are introduced for calls, emails or web chat. In order to know what kind of customer service experience your customers are having, you may choose to monitor customer service calls, emails or chat channels. Since social media is also a customer interaction channel, you can use the same techniques to monitor the quality of interactions on social media and also introduce coaching if required. Both quality monitoring and coaching will ensure that customer care has the ability to listen and respond, be where customers are, and build and leverage community.

Establish Goals or Objectives

Today, customer experience increasingly includes interaction over social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Managers of contact centers need to understand the best means to participate in these conversations. Customer care agents should be aware of guidelines related to how and when to respond to interactions on social media platforms. Thus, it is necessary to establish goals and objectives for communicating in this channel. It should include the best practices to acknowledge customer issues and also resolve them so you can elevate customer satisfaction other than determining areas of improvement.

Evaluation Template – The Need for One

Based on your goals, you need to identify skills which you can evaluate and consequently coach in order to maximize the use of social media for customer service. Among the most important skills for social media is the usage of electronic language. Apart from usage, interpretation of electronic language is also important because it helps customer service agents determine the tone of the conversation to action accordingly. To sum up, social media interactions need to be evaluated, reported (real-time agent monitoring) and improvised (with coaching if required) on similar lines as other channels.

Interaction is Key – Drive Agents to interact in the Right Manner

There is no doubt that social media is changing the way that we as a society communicate, but interaction holds key to social media strategies. Hence, the quality of interactions on social media need to be monitored closely and a quality score needs to be maintained so the brand image is not compromised with the introduction or usage of social media platforms among customer service agents. As part of training, centers also need to craft their social media voice. The language and tone of voice needs to be aligned with your company/brand’s message, goals and objectives. A unified and well-communicated tone of voice ensures that consistency is maintained across the social media marketing arm (all the customer service agents use it) and this is important especially in bigger companies where usage is not restricted to a single social media operator. A review of general social media norms, specific rules for social media sites, which agents use, is also considered necessary.

Identify and Align Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Monitoring and measuring social media Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) helps improve quality and performance too. From basic tracking (interactions in central customer records) to high quality monitoring systems, the options will depend on the need to align social media strategies to business goals.

Connecting the Dots

Companies are always fighting the fear of negative brand exposure on social media platforms but today, the fear of missing valuable opportunities presented by this medium is greater.

Blueocean helps businesses achieve end-to-end conversation tracking and also manage social media interaction to identify customer opportunities apart from resolving issues before they spiral out of control.

Image Courtesy : Raoshan(Flickr.com)

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