Is responding to crisis communications becoming a daily occurrence? Analysts are clear that social media is no longer a passing fad. The growth of smart mobile device use makes it easier for customers to contact organisations using their channel of choice, at any time.
Perhaps your organisation feels that the volumes of inbound social media are small, and management question if it is worth all the effort of integrating the channel alongside voice, email and web chat? The prudent response is "yes" for the following reason.
Some of the most vocal personalities on social media also have a significant volume of followers. As such they can be very influential in some industries. It only needs one such high profile social media user to air their grievance in public, for it to damage a brand's reputation and business performance.
Consider these points:
- Some 90% of online buyers trust peer recommendation above any other guidenance (MITSloan, 2014)
- 54% of social media users who had a poor customer experience shared the fact with at least five other people
- The compound annual growth rate for social media interactions with contact centres is forecast to be 32% between now and 2017
Whilst social media volumes are only expected to represent 2.5% of all contact centre interactions by 2017 (ContactBabel, 2014), what really matters is that this small proportion could still be the source of a very public incident that proves damaging to a company. So, it makes sense to implement at least a basic level of social media monitoring to help alleviate the risk.
What level of social media monitoring investment is required?
The good news is that implementing an effective social media monitoring capability can be straightforward and cost effective. If the volumes of inbound social media posts are relatively low, you may only need to install a standard monitoring tool and train a few agents. The trick is to be able to identify and filter out those negative posts which have the potential to cause problems.
Tools are now available that can scan social media posts which contain your brand name and terms such as "poor service", "disappointing", "help" and so on. They can also search for derogatory phrases and terms. Any posts matched can then be routed to agents suitably trained to engage and respond.
Social media monitoring is an obvious benefit for the customer service area, but that's just part of the story. Monitoring the social media channels can directly benefit other parts of the business too. The marketing team can use it to assess and manage campaigns in real-time.
Just as important, many companies are using social media as a sales lead generation tool. Monitoring can identify immediate opportunities resulting from a competitor's weakness. Furthermore, by monitoring for specific key phrases, it's possible to start dialogues with prospects where purchases have longer lead times. Of course, with multiple departments benefiting, the cost of a social media monitoring tool can be amortised accordingly!
So implementing at least a minimum level of social media monitoring makes sense for every business.
For a more detailed look at the role social media can play in the contact centre, take a look at our social media blog post.