I work in an outsourced contact center. This means the words I hear every day are; service level, staffing, call disposition, and business intelligence. This wasn’t always the case. My background is in marketing; I ran the analytics, SEM, and social media paid-media functions of an ad agency representing many clients in the retail, travel and manufacturing industries.
When I made the shift in my career to the contact center world, to build a social media management service, it took time to adjust to the type of thinking that’s required to bridge the gap between my previous experience with social media – as a publishing tool – and my current understanding – taking care of the total customer experience.
As I have come to understand it, one of the major difficulties that brands as well as agencies have, is that the people they have are too good at their specific roles. Therefore, when they are asked to be generalists they get slowed down in the nuance of every day customer responses.
Now it is clear that social media brand presences require timely response to customer interactions. But, should your creative content strategist be tasked with monitoring and responding to hundreds of mentions of your brand for 18 hours a day, seven days a week?
The answer is, no they should not. It is inefficient, drawing their attention away from their core competencies. If you add on top of this the rapid turnover in staff moving to new positions within your organization, you then have a formula for a short short-term fix, but a long-term problem.
That is the key part of what a contact center team can help your marketing department with. To monitor, catch, process, handle, and/or escalate all of the mentions your brand is receiving while freeing up your internal social media managers to be able to look upon the whole system from a strategic level.
A “crack” social media team starts with the right project manager who, along with the team, is trained in your brand – understands your space – and keeps giving the team constant feedback.
The types of responses that are being monitored can vary from hyper-specific customer service inquiries, to marketing or PR opportunities. Having an experienced dedicated agent – making those decisions on how to handle these interactions makes all the difference between “saying” you are doing social media and actually delivering on that promise.
If you would like to read more, I previously wrote about how manufacturers can work with retailers in managing their brands reputation through social media.