Social Media Playbook for Contact Centres

14 December 2015 by Dionne Lackey

It's not news that contact centres need to integrate social media channels. But, many are struggling to understand how to do this to meet growing customer demand for an omni-channel experience, and remain competitive to keep the doors of their business open. To flourish they must adapt, have a deep-rooted strategic rethink of their customer engagement models and offer personalised service at scale. However, social media especially is perceived as the most difficult to integrate as a consumer contact point.

In a new guide from Sentiment we analyse 10 essential building blocks to help in-house and outsourcer teams better understand how to add social media to the contactcentre stack and deliver exceptional customer service.

Download PDF version of the playbook


If you download the report you will discover how to:

  • Ensure buy-in from the C-suite.
  • Reduce the cost to serve and justify the expense of integrating social media.
  • Scale up your social customer service provision.
  • Protect your investment in legacy systems and deploy the right social customer service app.
  • Improve agent productivity and ensure support teams have the right skills and abilities
  • Measure social customer service performance.

As always, brand examples of how to get it right, or best practice advice from a socialmedia expert who works in the segment, day in, day out, have been used throughout tohelp contact centres develop a robust roadmap to leverage the power of social customerengagement.

Download PDF version of the playbook

Here are a few highlights from the report:

Planning - Contact centres need a robust strategic approach to setting up and evolvingcustomer engagement on social channels. If you simply look at existing internal KPIsand run with a quick fix you may be able to pick low hanging financial fruits in the shortterm. Your plan needs longevity and should align with your strategic goals. Businessescan reduce costs and benefit from economies of scale with a solid roadmap. But, beforeall of this, we look at why you need to first listen to your customers.

Cost to serve - Every business wants to save money and migrating customers frommore expensive contact points will help you deliver cost savings. But, to encouragemore customers to use cheaper social channels you need to instil confidence that it canbe as easy and effective as, say, calling an agent. If customers were sure they could getresolution on the first attempt, more than 70% would choose a channel other thanphone. We show how there's an opportunity to reduce the cost to serve here.

'Legacy' software - We look at why the 'legacy' never really ends when it comes toarchitecture. The challenge for contact centres is to assess whether their currenttechnology is fit for purpose to deliver digital customer service. We look at thelimitations of helpdesk software and explain how businesses are shifting from a pureownership model to more blended cloud / legacy architecture to serve customers.

Team building - 15% of attrition in contact centres happens during training due to thegrowing complexity of support roles. We outline the best ways to train the people whoare the gatekeepers of your brand's reputation in a very public domain. Customerfacing roles are changing and teams need to be empowered to deliver high-qualityinteractions and real dialogue with customers, at scale and in near real-time.

Deployment - We explain how to prioritise the number of channels you monitor toavoid diluting efficiency and negatively impacting the quality of engagement yourcustomers expect. We also look at four key elements to assess during first-phasedeployment: resourcing, workflow, reporting and command centres.

Customer interactions - We discuss why customer satisfaction on social channels is ata low ebb. 70% of consumers expect a response on social media within 15 minutes. Yetonly a few businesses are geared up to deliver on this expectation. Some companies stilldon't respond at all, or miss comments completely. We outline some of the steps yourcontact centre can take to improve the two areas which most annoy customers:response times and resolution rates.

Multi-lingual support - In a global economy, businesses need to be able to supportcustomers who talk a number of languages and ensure they have the right resources toeffectively manage interactions in appropriate time zones. In this section, you will findsome helpful tips to bear in mind when scoping out your strategy, whether you have acentral service team working across multiple languages, or in-house support teamsbased in established markets.

Sales opportunities - Lots of brands are starting to share how social engagement hasdriven higher sales and there is an opportunity to improve customer acquisition,loyalty, retention and repeat business with positive engagement. Consumers are in thebusiness of buying and social engagement and referrals are a powerful commercial tool.Find out how you can maximise growth potential here.

Agent productivity-Contact centres will lose efficiency if they do not monitor and analyse agentperformance on social channels. Obviously optimising resources and your training planwill be driven by your organisation or client requirements, but we provide some bestpractice guidelines on configuring user roles, visibility and workflow, agent tags andperformance reporting to help.

Measuring engagement-You need to measure engagement to be able to manage the social customer service youprovide, demonstrate value alongside traditional channels, improve agent performance,and justify investment. KPIs on social are similar to those for voice, email and chat butthey should always be driven by a commitment to early resolution and qualityengagement. We outline some of the key metrics that are important to measure andbenchmark.

Download PDF version of the playbook

You might also be interested in our 5 step social planning guide

5 Tips for Social Customer Service Planning

Comment on this blog...