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Interview: How social media revolutionalises customer relationship

Zafar Anjum | May 6, 2013
Customers are feeling more enabled for the first time as more consumers adopt social media as an outlet for airing issues. The consequence has been nothing short of a consumer relationship revolution. Spence Mallder, senior vice president, general manager workforce optimisation and chief technology officer, of Aspect, elaborates.

There is also the issue of quality control around the information the companies post to social media. Employees have been observed replying to consumer posts to their companies' social media sites using their own personal handles or accounts. More and more companies are putting processes in place to check the quality of posts to ensure they comply with company policies (including those related to customer data privacy).

There are so many sources of customer data today. How can companies sift through such massive amounts of data? How can they know what is valuable and what is not?

Social networking sites are indeed a gold mine of consumer data. Companies are often met with a barrage of customer opinions and enquiries and it is difficult to focus on what is important.

For instance, compared to a customer complaint on poor service, a simple product enquiry is less critical. What businesses require is an intelligent filtering system that first identifies requests for help, and then prioritises them according to importance. The staff can then respond swiftly to the most pressing consumer concerns first without having to guess which is more time-sensitive.

A single social post-presented without context-prompts an isolated, disjointed response. Customers should never have to repeat themselves if they've started their inquiry about a given issue via, say, Facebook and then moved on to Twitter.

Maintaining the context of the social conversation ensures that the staff member can have a real dialogue with the social customer. Using social media interaction tools like Aspect Social would instantly generate a complete and threaded conversation while providing links to resources like public knowledge bases in order to provide the kind of service that creates brand advocates.

What tools has your company developed to help enterprises help in this regard?

Aspect has recently come out with Aspect Social - our new game-changing, cloud-based offering for customer engagement on social media which aims at  combining contact centre best practices with the unique power of social media. Customer-centric organisations can now extend capabilities beyond mere social monitoring by turning social monologues into productive, effective dialogues. 

Aspect Social provides contact centres the ability to automatically identify, prioritise and route targeted customer service-related social media to the right contact centre agent and measure the effectiveness of their response. It provides tools and capabilities specific to the needs of contact centre agents and supervisors.

By enabling the contact centre to apply best practices to social customer engagements, Aspect Social can minimise your total interaction costs by providing access to a channel that customers already prefer, that costs up to three times less than traditional channel (voice, email, chat, etc.). With the ability to track agent performance and maintain the context of social interactions, organisations can realise better value from their customers, at a lower cost, without sacrificing customer contact best practices.


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