Social media for most businesses is just a function of the marketing department. But, social media gives businesses the opportunity to engage customers before and after the transaction.

For this reason alone, social media needs to be incorporated across departments as a business-wide strategy. This is what becoming a social business is all about.

The Voice of the Customer is Much Different Online Than in the Contact Center

Everyday social media becomes more important in the contact center. Customers are won and lost based upon the company’s ability to find their voices, listen to their needs, and ultimately fulfill their expectations. Social media customer interaction is a way to broaden brand reach and reply to the customers who are talking about the brand, products, services or competitors.

Social media data often differ from contact center data. Social media data comes from review networks, blogs, government data sources, media outlets, user interactions with websites, and the ever-growing amount of social media platforms. The traditional contact center needs to evolve to hear customers online and engage beyond the toll-free phone number.

Having a Facebook Page Doesn’t Make You a Social Business

If existing and potential customers are discussing products/services in a LinkedIn forum or on Twitter, a presence on Facebook wouldn’t be beneficial.

Social media listening allows companies to identify where customers prefer to have conversations online, what dialogue they exchange, and what questions they ask outside of a Facebook page. Social media listening is critical to go beyond a “check the box” social media strategy.

Social is an Interactive Channel

Social is an interactive channel between the brand and consumer and companies must plan a broad strategy for both inbound and outbound communication. Social media is an on-going dialogue that’s required to understand how to approach customers and manage brand reputation.

Customers are having open conversations about products and services online, whether the company is involved or not.

Social Media Agents and Contact Center Agents Have Different Skills

Social media agents require different skills than contact center agents. One cannot expect to shift an inbound call agent to a social media agent. Social media is one of many channels and agents need to understand how to resolve issues and generate leads in a public forum.

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