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Using Social Media Trends to Proactively Improve Internal Operations

Guest Author

Guest Blogger: Aphrodite
Brinsmead
, Senior Analyst at Ovum

Most businesses focus their social media activities around
two goals: revenue generation from marketing activities and improving customer engagement
and satisfaction by responding to social queries. However, they should also be
using social data in real time to improve processes and agent performance.

Customers often use social media to express their
frustrations before calling a contact center to provide more formal feedback. Because
of the limitations and time taken to handle calls as opposed to sending social
messages, businesses can discover issues faster by analyzing these social media
comments. For example, the extent of an internet outage could be realized by
looking at social patterns before technical staff become aware of the problem
and are ready with a fix. Agents can be alerted to the issue and provided with
information to respond, and the technical team can begin resolving the problem.
Likewise, flight issues, power or utilities problems, issues with form completion
or websites could all be discovered faster by looking at social trends.

However, the challenge lies with automating these processes
and setting up systems to push the right information to the right team of
staff, including marketing, customer support, product and service teams or even
high-level executives. Businesses should set up systems to monitor trends,
categorize information and automate the distribution of useful customer
feedback to the right internal team. At first they may need a social media
manager to manually review data and validate the information. But after
obtaining a better understanding of the way in which customers are using social,
these managers can set thresholds dictating the minimum number of posts needed
and where the information should be sent. For example, outage information would
need to be sent both to technical staff and agents, whereas complaints leading
to cancellation should be forwarded to high level managers as well as agents. Contact
center managers can then use trend data to define ideal responses for common
queries, not just for the social media agents, but also for those agents that
handle voice, email or web chat. When the same query comes in by email or
phone, the agent is prepared to respond efficiently.

Businesses should view social media data as a useful tool to
gain information about customer needs and improve internal processes so that
they can resolve issues before they escalate. The one caveat is that this
relies on a large number of customers posting about the same problem in order
to validate that issues are genuine and relevant to a broad customer set. This
will only become easier as use of social media expands and customers become
further educated about its value as a customer service tool.

Follow me on Twitter @diteb.

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