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Proactive Social Media Strategy for Contact Centers

April 9, 2013 | By | No Comments

Call center employees are not effective in social media just because they have the tools. Learn a few points to avoid crisis with Social Strategy1’s introduction of proactive social media strategy for contact centers.

Download a complimentary Social Strategy1 whitepaper examining best practice social care strategies from Jetblue, Whole Foods, & Zappos.

Why should call centers adopt social media? Social Media for Contact Centers
More than 2 billion people are using social media across 100 million channels. More than 85% of online purchases are driven by online ratings and reviews.

The changing landscape in customer communication provides a unique opportunity to combine assets of outsource services with social media expertise to provide clients with a best in class customer care and lead generation solution.

Although traditional channels like TV and the call center still affect the largest portions of customer contact, the undeniable reality is customers refer to the web to make purchase decisions.


The Connected Customer Life Cycle



More importantly for contact centers, consumer loyalty is now driven by a business’s interaction with its customer when & where the customer chooses.

The tools of the connected customer include:

• Online Ratings, Reviews, Forums, FAQs
• Email
• Social Media
• Live Chat
• Call Center

Ignoring the customer online is worse than not picking up the phone. If you aren’t meeting the customer where they choose, you are missing online customer care and sales opportunities. You cannot expect traditional call center employees to be in social media just because they have the tools.

You cannot expect traditional call center employees to be effective in social media just because they have the tools.

To avoid a public brand crisis, losing your customer and having your reps become Internet trolls; we’ve organized a simple introduction to plan a proactive social media strategy for Contact Centers:


1. Listen to the Connect Customer

Customers are having open conversations about products and services online. Social media listening will allow you to identify customers, where they prefer to have conversations online, what lexicon they use, and what purchase questions they ask. Listening is the most important step and should lead your strategy.

Not only will listening profile customers, it will profile public opinion of the services and products you offer. This information is not just important for social care; it can uncover themes within the whole of the customer experience.

2. Identify Preferred Channels

After you have identified where care and sales opportunities occur online, fish where the fish are. Listening will identify the most used channels. Do not force your customers to use a Facebook page if purchase intent discussions occur in Review Forums.

3. Identify Your Team

Staff your team based on where customers want to engage and when customers are online. Social care team members need a specific mix of skills: 1) social media aware, 2) excellent communicators, 3) and have marketing savvy

Typically, these are going to be your tenured reps with excellent performance history. Starting small and training the trainer scenarios work best.

4. Reputation Management is the New Outbound

Social Media Monitoring can identify leads and savvy reps can engage & direct customers to take action. However outbound interactions are where most contact centers new to social media #fail. Do not approach social like outbound calls, you will turn your team into Internet trolls.

Turn your outbound team into brand defenders.

Start your proactive strategy with reputation management.

Reputation management is the new Outbound. Online ranking and reviews are one of the most important factors in the connect customer’s decision-making process. Ranking and reviews are also the least intrusive form of customer engagement and review site are the easiest place to start training your reps.

5. Escalation & Crisis Planning

Failing to plan is like planning to fail. The best defense of an online crisis are the real agents who are prepared to react quickly, engage customers one-on-one with senior level response approval. Planning your escalation process is not different than any other channel; it just may have a few different stakeholders.

Example Escalation Process












6. Measurement

Try to define your success metrics in a sentence: “I want to improve customer experience” and then apply traditional Qualitative and Quantitative metrics. Social media is a unique space. But you can clean metrics from similar spaces from i.e. email or chat. It is important to understand what you can and cannot control in social.

Example metrics

Qualitative Metrics Quantitative Metrics
QA: Spelling, Grammar, & Tracking Calls: S/L, AHT, FCR, CSAT
Interactions Live Chat: S/L, AHT, CSAT
Positive Sentiment E-mail: Response Time, CSAT


Kicking off a proactive social media strategy for contact centers shouldn’t be difficult if customers are already active. Jumping into social without an understanding of the connected customer and expertise in social media is dangerous and your blunder will be recorded publicly.

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