According to research from ContactBabel, the contact centre industry analysts, many contact centres are still uncertain about using social media channels within their contact centre operations.


As part of its annual UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers' Guide, and in partnership with multi-channel contact centre specialist mplsystems, ContactBabel identified that some 28 percent of respondents still consider social media to be a 'wait and see' topic, with many demonstrating uncertainty about the business value that social media could bring.


While larger contact centres are leading the way in their adoption of social

media, mplsystems believes there's a real opportunity for smaller contact

centres to consider social media channels as a low-cost and more direct way

of communicating with both existing and potential customers. With just 1 in

6 of respondents rating social media as more important as an outbound rather

than an inbound channel, however, it's clear that there's a strong

appreciation of the bi-directional role that social media channels need to



"There's clearly still considerable uncertainty about the role that social

media can play in an organisation's integrated customer service activities –

that's why we're convinced that smaller and medium size contact centres need

a lower cost of entry deployment model for adding social media as a core

communications channel," commented Paul White, mplsystems' CEO. "We're

increasingly seeing the Software as a Service (SaaS) model and cloud-based

solutions as the approach that can help smaller organisations start to reap

the same social media advantages that are now being deployed by larger

customer service operations."


"Cloud-based social customer service is accessible to any organisation,

regardless of their sizing, and purchasing on a per seat basis offers an

opportunity for any business – large or small – to introduce and trial

social as a customer service channel," he added. "Social customer service

incorporates several functions: monitoring, filtering, interaction portals,

multi-channel queuing and routing and social response, that can either be

introduced as separate cloud modules integrated into your existing

contact-handling infrastructure or as a total SaaS-enabled multichannel



With an integrated cloud-based approach, responding to social requests

needn't mean taking agents out of your front-line call centre. In fact, the

most effective social customer service deployments build on the expertise of

existing agent teams, with social requests filtered according to criteria,

prioritised and then routed alongside all other contact types, whether

calls, email or mobile app requests. When integrated with a multi-channel

cloud based ACD, requests can also be routed to those agent teams most

skilled to deal each based on topic.


According to mplsystems' Marketing Director, Susannah Richardson: "too many

customers are making the mistake of responding to social queries with canned

responses such as: 'we will get back to your query in X days'. That's no

longer good enough. Consumers choose social because they assume they will

get a fast resolution to their request not just a standard corporate

response. If organisations are to avoid making the same kind of mistakes

that they did when adding e-mail channels, then social response mechanisms

clearly need to be fully integrated into existing customer queues, and that

– increasingly – will also incorporate the latest generation of social apps

for mobile and smartphones.



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