A socially enabled call center is not a new concept.
Call center companies have been taking the help of social media to effectively handle the call-flow of the customers and interact with them.
But lately, the perspective towards using this media has changed as social media has established itself as one of the most important platforms for providing effective customer service.
So, what exactly is a socially enabled call center?
It is a call center that utilizes all the platforms of the social media platforms including voice, live chat, and mobile apps, social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook and emails to provide efficient customer service.
When a call center company offers such Omni-channel platform of interaction to the customers, the queries are solved quickly and effectively thereby improving the brand credibility as well as sales.
With the world of customer service undergoing a huge change in the last few years, social media has become one of the driving forces behind this constant change.
According to GARTNER, by 2020, 85% of the customer care issues will be solved without interacting with the humans directly.
It means that the preference for the social media platforms will grow manifold and it will be a most influential medium for solving customer issues in the years to come.
It indicates that in the coming years’ call centers will need to use more of social media for customer-centric service.
How can a call center ensure to keep customers happy and provide prompt feedback attention to the customers with the assistance of social media?
Here are a few ways in which you can provide exceptional customer service by building a socially enabled call center:
1. Increasing Response-Time
Social media has ensured that everything is immediately available and the questions are solved instantly.
Hence, care should be taken in such a way that, there are no negative interactions or vibes between the customers and the call center agents.
Because one word about a lapse in the service can spread in nano-second like fire on Twitter and Facebook.
The only way to rectify and even avoid such a situation is to respond quickly.
How quickly your customer service team responds to such interactions will be the deciding factor whether your business breaks or stays.
When you are operating a socially enabled call center, all the social channels will be monitored continuously and hence the response will be instant thereby reducing the chances of such negative reactions.
The more responsive your call center staff is across the different channels of the social media, the better it will be for your business.
2. Hiring Customer-Centric Staff
It is a common practice in the call centers to train the agents according to a requirement of the clients and also ensure that they have enough skill to answer the questions of the customers and solve their problems effectively, smartly and quickly.
But there are very few people who are really the ‘cool-headed’ ones and simply have a knack to remain composed even amidst a difficult conversation.
Such people know how to cool down an irritated customer and divert his mind towards the sales funnel.
While hiring staff for socially enabled call center, you must hire such people who have the strength to negate irritation from the conversation and bring back the positive vibes.
Such people must be placed as the front-line employees and should lead the customer service arsenal.
For building exceptional customer service and to ensure that your brand stands out the competition, it is highly important that you hire agents who have a got the idea of asking the right questions, listening aptly to the customers and reassuring them with plausible solutions.
3. Providing Quick, Personal Service
Apart from working hard on quick response times, it is quintessential that the call center companies also have a strategy to offer personal service.
A recent statistics from Forrester says that 82% of the customers consider quick resolving of their queries as the number one factor leading to the great customer experience.
Apart from quick resolving of a problem, customers also are eager to get personal attention or service at a certain level of purchasing cycle.
They expect treatment as a valued customer, one who is recognized by the company.
A socially enabled call center can offer a quick and personal response which in itself is one of the most important components for building a great call center.
4. Excellent Leadership Is The Key
An organization with an excellent leader always stays above the competition irrespective of the ups and downs in the market situations and trends.
The same holds true for a call center because the confidence and the answers provided by the front-line employees of the contact center companies are based on the direction and advice of their managers.
A call center manager with excellent leadership quality can lead by example and ensure that his agents employ the right mix of confidence, attitude, and expertise while solving each and every query of the customers.
5. Keep On Training
With every other second, a new trend or discovery knocking down the existing one as outdated; it is a must that all the agents of the call center are detailed regularly about the latest and the best.
And it is more important if you are planning for a socially enabled call center because, in a virtual world, information takes less than a nano-second to reach the netizens who are going to be your primary customers.
Well-trained agents can handle all the queries of the customers confidently and satisfy them thereby delivering excellent customer service.
As a call center owner, you must ensure that your organization keeps on organizing training sessions once in a fortnight to empower the front-line staff with the latest knowledge so that they are well equipped to resolve the issues of the customers.
6. Seek Feedback Regularly With Customer Surveys
For maintaining and creating a great socially enabled call center, a call center manager must regularly solicit the feedback via short customer surveys.
It provides you details about the response from the customers which in turn pinpoints the particular areas where you need to improve.
It is nowadays easy to carry on the short customer surveys through social media platforms via group poll or online feedback form.
These can serve as an invaluable tool for all the call centers vying for socially enabled setup.
Whether you accept it or not no one can deny the fact that social media is here to stay and call centers do not have any option but to enter the socially enabled domain sooner or later.
It is of utmost importance for today’s business houses to know the number of times their products/services were mentioned on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.
And it is only possible if you have a socially enabled call center backup.
To understand the growing importance of social media in a call center set up let us study the case of a call center company serving different finance and banking institutions and organizations.
The company has been in the business since 2010 and has seen a steady growth in the market.
Initially, there was not much of a problem as the call center company managed to gain a few A-listed clients and the service was always on the mark.
However, after a few years, the company could not add new clients to its profile.
Moreover, the existing clients were also shifting their new customer support requirements to some other companies and were only continuing with the first one because of goodwill.
Certainly, this was not going to last long as one day or the other; these clients will also cut off ties eventually if they are getting good service from the other call center companies.
So what was going wrong?
The agents were doing their best to solve the problems at their end and the company had engaged some of the experts in the field to ensure great service.
To understand what was leading to lack of response from the new clients and turn off from the existing ones, the call center company decided to do a short survey that included studying the feedback from the customers, services offered by the competitors, getting feedback from the clients, and carrying out discussion internally with the front-line staff.
The result was divided into four parts:
1. Feedback From The Customers
The feedback’s from the customers revealed that they were annoyed because of lack of availability of the customer service across other platforms such as emails, mobile apps, and live chat.
Since the company was offering service only through the traditional mode such as phone, they had to wait for a long time to reach the agent.
The high call volume was one of the reasons for the customers avoiding to buy the products from the clients of the call center company.
2. Competitors Service
The revelation of this study was quite insightful.
The competitors that were attracting new clients and even were influencing the existing clients of the call center company were using the latest call center software.
It included advanced features such as inbuilt CRM, live call recordings and reports, 24 x 7 online supports and so on.
That was the most important reason why clients were more interested in working with the competitors as compared to this particular call center company.
3. Feedback From The Clients
Now, this was a major wake-up call.
The clients were facing a lot of problems because the call center company was not providing socially enabled features and services.
The customers were frustrated with the slow response and lack of omni-channel availability and complained regularly about the bad customer service backup.
The other call center companies, in turn, were offering all such facilities and were using the best call center software that had provisions for chatbots, and mobile apps.
For the millennial generation that prefers working on the go, these features are the most preferred means of communication and they are turned off by the companies whose service do not feature these advanced interaction platforms.
And since the clients did not want to upset their customers they were more interested in working with the other call center companies that had already build up a socially enabled setup.
4. Result Of Internal Discussion With The Staff
The staff was working hard and doing their best to solve the queries from the customers.
But since, the system they were using was old, they were not receiving the adequate support and information so that the customers could be convinced quickly and effectively.
The high call volume also irritated the agents as the phone kept on ringing without giving them a respite from work.
Huge workload also frustrated them and it somehow reflected in the way they handled the call leading to more customer turnoffs.
All the above revelations led to only one conclusion.
The company had no other option but to change its existing working system and adopt the latest call center software solutions.
The call center company immediately decided to make changes in the software they were using.
The company directors hired experts from the field of telecommunication to give them a detailed report about the type of contact center software that was suitable for their type of work and which was the software/system the competitors were using.
The experts advised the company to use the topmost telecommunication software that was being used by most of the call center companies and was giving a good result.
They also advised the directors to train the staff properly so that they could understand and use the new call center solutions to reach perfection.
This particular software offered the agents the option to interact with the customers across all the channels of online communication including emails, mobile apps, live chat, social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and much more.
The call center company began to slowly get positive results after implementing the suggestions offered by the experts.
The company ensured that the few experienced agents adept at handling the latest contact center software were hired to support the existing front-line staff.
Slowly, the company built up its reputation as a socially enabled setup and managed to convince its existing clients through positive results within a few months and also gained new clients in the months to come.