Listening to the Customer with Social Media, Call Recording

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Listening to the Customer with Social Media, Call Recording

July 10, 2014

Most contact centers are under a mandate to meet certain customer satisfaction expectations. Before you can meet expectations, however, you first need to measure them. (The old saying that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” applies here.) In the contact center, measuring customer satisfaction tends to be one more chore that managers have to do, so it often gets short-shrift, and far too many companies are assuming their customer satisfaction is far higher than it is.

Most businesses would find, if they could pinpoint customer satisfaction precisely, that they are not offering the high quality customer experience they think they are. Customer satisfaction is often measured by occasional customer surveys, which don’t provide a great picture of what’s going on in the contact center today. For this reason, many forward-thinking companies turn to call recording and analytics solutions to get a better picture of the quality of the experience being offered.

While call recording is effective, it’s not the only way to measure customer satisfaction. Today, customers are very willing (some might say too willing) to air their opinions on the companies they do business with, and their choice of vehicle is social media.

While younger customers were the first ones to embrace social media to share their opinions and grievances as customers, the phenomenon has spread to nearly every consumer demographic. These opinions are widely seen and shared, and they reverberate across the entire customer base. Smart companies are using social media, therefore, to actively listen to their customers. Unfortunately, studies have found that there aren’t too many smart companies out there today.

“According to the inaugural issue of the Social@Scale Journal, one out of every five brands says they rarely – if ever – respond to customer complaints made via social media, although consumers are expecting responses within an hour,” wrote Aaron Baar recently for MediaPost. “The result of this disconnect: 38 percent of customers said they’ll have negative feelings about a brand that fails to meet their response expectations, and 60 percent will take ‘unpleasant actions to express their dissatisfaction,’ primarily through social media.”

What this means is that companies need to do more than listen to their customers in social media: they need to respond to customers, too. Too many companies leave social media to the marketing department, which means that there is a strong disconnect in the organization. It’s the contact center’s job to service customers, and if they’re not actively getting the knowledge garnered from social media monitoring, it becomes relatively worthless, except in a vague academic sense.

To truly succeed, companies need to be integrating the social channels into their legacy contact center systems so they can interact with customers not only through phone, Web and e-mail, but also through social media.  Successful organizations need to banish inter-departmental rivalries and a lack of cooperation and ensure that social media becomes a cornerstone of customer two-way customer communication. Only then can they ensure they are providing their customers with the best possible service, and stave off widespread customer complaints. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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