1 The Seven Elements of Great Social Customer Service How to Win the Social Media Customer Service Challenge in The Contact Center As consumers turn in droves to social media to solve problems, share and search for information, customer service is becoming social. In this new environment, consumers increasingly value companies' ability to engage, respond and provide good service on networks like Twitter and Facebook. Companies can meet this challenge in the contact center with unified multichannel customer service that includes social media and effectively applies contact center discipline, metrics and resources to this new reality. White Paper September 2012
2 2 Table of Contents The Rise of Social Media Why Customer Service in Social Media? Why Social Media Customer Service in the Contact Center? The Seven Elements of Great Social Media Customer Service in the Contact Center 1 - Monitor the Social Media Channels 2 - Unify Service Across Your Channels 3 - Unify Your Customer History 4 - Unify Your Knowledge and Applications 5 - Deliver Multichannel Proactive Service 6 - Measure Your Business Performance 7 - Bring Social Media to Your Business Processes What Great Social Media Customer Service in the Contact Center Can Accomplish Case: Leading mobile operator reaches out to more customers through additional service channels 10 About the Altitude uci 8 Unified Social Customer Service Solution
3 3 The Rise of Social Media At the end of 2011, social networking accounted for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online worldwide, ranking as the most engaging online activity globally, according to ComScore (1). Social networking sites reached 82% of the world's Internet population age 15 and older that accessed the Internet from a home or work computer. 1,600 1,400 1,200 1, % Total Internet +174% Social Networking Worldwide Total Unique Visitors (MM) Source: comscore Media Metrix, March October 2011 The growth of social media is now set on a course to dominate internet usage, with Facebook estimated to reach 1 billion monthly active users in the coming months and Twitter surpassing 150 million active users with 1 billion tweets every three days. In 2007, Internet users spent only 6% of their time on social networking sites, however, in just a few short years, social networking has gained the attention (and time) of Internet users worldwide. In this new environment, defined by customer control and two-way conversations, what are customer's expectations for businesses? The IBM Institute for Business Value (2) recently surveyed more than 1,000 consumers worldwide to understand what drives In their rush to be present in social media, businesses need to stay focused on customer value. Obtaining tangible value seems to be the main reason most consumers engage businesses via social media. customers to engage with companies. It discovered that consumers are far more interested in obtaining tangible value than in connecting with brands. In exchange for their time, endorsement and personal data, consumers expect something tangible. In their rush to be present in social media, businesses need to stay focused on customer value. Obtaining tangible value seems to be the main reason most consumers engage businesses via social media.
4 4 Why Customer Service in Social Media? Social media is one of the most disruptive forces facing businesses today. This societal and technological evolution is giving birth to a new world of customer interactions and service, where people have more alternatives, not only when they want to buy, but also when they need service. Social media makes it simple and tempting to comment and communicate with large audiences an opinion or an experience with a product or company, thus influencing customer relationships. This new reality brings new challenges and opportunities to companies aiming to build customer relationships and manage customer interactions. This environment requires from businesses a social media customer engagement strategy that can enable fast, relevant and appropriate responses to inquiries, complaints and other interactions in the social networks. Do You Have Spent More With a Company Because of a History of Good Customer Service Experiences? 100% 90% 85% 80% 70% 60% 75% 75% 63% 68% 58% 57% 72% 74% 50% 40% 44% 37% 30% 20% 10% 0% United States Canada Mexico France Italy United Kingdom Germany Netherlands Australia India Japan Signifcabtly higher than 6 other markets at the 95% confidence level American Express 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer. This research was completed online among a random sample of consumers aged 18+ in: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, UK, and US. Current research shows that most companies still use social media primarily as a marketing channel, with messages targeted for product promotion and deals, with limited customer interaction. Gartner's audit of an engagement study (3) in late 2011 found that more than 80% of the Fortune 500's 100 largest companies had a brand presence on Facebook, but only 20% were currently engaged with customers in a customer service and support capacity. The return-on-social media will only become apparent when social media matures into an The return-on-social media will only become apparent when social media matures into an established customer interaction channel where companies engage customers. established customer interaction channel where companies engage customers. Engaging customers via social media should also be perceived as a key opportunity for improved customer service (as a public conversation it also enables knowledge sharing and peer service); for sales and business development; and to gain an early warning of issues and opportunities.
5 5 Why Social Media Customer Service in the Contact Center? When the Internet became dominant in our lives, it changed consumer habits and transformed the call center into a multimedia customer service and business support hub. In the years to come, we can expect the rise of social media to continue to transform the role of the contact center. According to Gartner (5), by 2014, refusing to communicate with customers via social channels will be as harmful as ignoring s or phone calls today. An increasing amount of evidence shows that the customer service department or contact center is the business organization's best-equipped entity for handling social media interactions. Customer service organizations, normally implemented within a contact center, have always been focused on achieving and developing a 360- degree view of the customer, and for providing a consistent experience across interaction channels - be it voice, web, chat or . Social media, although it usually requires changes in technology, must be treated as another customer interaction channel, and integrated into the existing business processes and service levels. When you use social media to complain about a customer service issue, how often do you feel you get an answer or your complaint is resolved by the company? Always Sometimes Rarely Never 100% 90% 80% 31% 17% 16% 10% 24% 12% 18% 11% 14% 37% 11% 70% 60% 50% 40% 45% 49% 50% 49% 58% 55% 60% 55% 49% 50% 45% 30% 20% 10% 0% 17% 6% United States 26% 9% Canada 24% 10% Mexico 30% 12% France 14% 5% Italy 26% 7% United Kingdom 21% 17% 13% 6% Germany Netherlands 29% 9% Australia 12% 2% India 31% 14% Japan Signifcabtly higher than 6 other markets at the 95% confidence level American Express 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer. This research was completed online among a random sample of consumers aged 18+ in: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, UK, and US. In fact, the contact center usually is the only structure in the organization capable of handling and managing large volumes of interactions on a timely basis. Social media interactions, although qualitatively different, share a great number of characteristics with interactions in other communication channels such as voice and . As in these other communication channels, the volume of interactions in social media fluctuates, but they always need to be handled in timely manner to ensure a service level that guarantees a positive impact on the customer, a task that is made more complicated as social media interactions issues can cover just about anything. In fact, the contact center usually is the only structure in the organization capable of handling and managing large volumes of interactions on a timely basis. As social media interactions can reach high volumes, they usually require dedicated teams, or at least trained staff that can be mobilized for this function at any time. Contact centers are also usually equipped with the infrastructure and technology that ensures that ongoing discussions are routed to the relevant agent and that all interactions are logged, tracked and integrated into a "customer history." Contact centers are also usually better equipped to provide consistent answers, register and analyze interactions, ensure quality, identify issues and escalate issues to the relevant persons in the organization.
6 6 The Seven Elements of Great Social Media Customer Service in the Contact Center The effective integration of social media within the contact center demands a systematic, intelligent and proactive approach to customer interactions. From a best practices perspective, this approach can be distilled into seven elements that need to be in place for an effective social media customer service in the contact center. 1 Monitor the Social Media Channels 2 Unify Service Across Your Channels The contact center needs to get access to conversations across social media networks and channels in a way that enables the organization to unify the customer interaction history and search across channels. The company should not only be able to discern intent and sentiment, and sort through the noise, but must be able to identify and act on the relevant conversations and interactions. Businesses should also provide customers with a variety of options where they can easily ask for support: customers should be able to post and comment on the Facebook page, possibly with a selection of a service/response that they want to get. On Twitter, customers should be able to ask and tag questions for support and customer service purposes. The organizations need to offer a set of interaction options to which customers are accustomed, including self-service, crowd (peer-to-peer) service, and live customer service representatives. The contact center needs a unified, streamlined process for handling interactions in the social media channel together with interactions from other channels. Because social is another communication channel, your brand value and business processes must be upheld over all channels. Additionally, interactions should be directed to qualified agents, matching the interaction to the person with the right skills and most available to provide a resolution in the most efficient manner. 3 Unify Your Customer History This unified approach means that customers should benefit from a single view of their interactions in the contact center and have consistent experiences, benefiting from seamless transitions as they use different interaction channels. The universal customer history must include all interactions - traditional and social. An agent that communicates with a customer needs to have the entire set of customer information and interaction history at their fingertips.
7 7 4 Unify Your Knowledge and Applications The contact center should leverage business and customer knowledge at the agent desktop, and support workflow, escalation, reporting and analytics that include social media. With a "socially enabled" contact center, social interactions are seamlessly tied through the agent applications, empowering agents with knowledge management tools. 5 Deliver Multichannel Proactive Service The contact center should provide agents with the tools to engage with relevant knowledge and guidance at their fingertips. Agents also need the ability to seamlessly change the channel, because in some situations traditional channels such as the phone or chat might be the more appropriate for following up or addressing issues. Businesses should also extend a traditional customer service offering with online communities, tracking activity while solving issues. 6 Measure Your Business Performance As with phone and other channels, it is important to monitor and measure social media key performance indicators (KPIs) to improve quality and performance. This can be as basic as tracking the interaction or as sophisticated as using monitoring systems and establishing customer experience metrics that include social mediaspecific KPIs. 7 Bring Social Media to Your Business Processes Social media is transforming customer service as we know it. Organizations need to leverage social channels for the delivery of customer care, and customer care extends beyond the contact center. As customer service is a crucial part of your brand, companies need to strive to have one voice, one brand, and one experience. When contact centers have the information to focus on business performance, a business can reap tangible benefits as a result of the ability to improve speed and quality of service; create reusable knowledge; turn a good service experience into brandbuilding; and uncover more up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, etc.
8 8 What Great Social Customer Service in the Contact Center Can Accomplish When businesses have these seven elements in place in the contact center, they become able to leverage social media as an interaction channel that contributes to brand value and delivers measurable benefits within existing customer service, sales, and knowledge management processes. The contact center unified customer interaction solution seamlessly manages interactions across all channels, including social channels. It is able to intelligently route social media interactions to the appropriate resource in the organization. Social media is infused within existing business and knowledge management processes, and viewed and managed as an engagement channel not unlike other traditional channels. As consumers increasingly turn to social media to seek information and advice and to express opinions, there is no question that organizations must engage with those channels to deliver appropriate customer care and to ensure positive experiences. References (1) It's a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It's Headed; ComScore; December (2) From social media to Social CRM; IBM Institute for Business Value Executive Report; (3) An Audit of Engagement: Fortune 500's 100 Largest Companies and Social CRM for Customer Service and Support; Jenny Sussin; Gartner; 2 November 2011 (4) 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer; American Express; June 2012 (5) Predicts 2012: The Rising Force of Social Networking and Collaboration Services; Matthew W. Cain, Jeffrey Mann, Michael A. Silver, Monica Basso, Andrew Walls, Carol Rozwell; Gartner; 28 November 2011
9 9 Leading mobile operator reaches out to more customers through additional service channels. As consumers turn in droves to social media to solve problems, and share and search for information, customer service is becoming social. In this new environment, consumers increasingly value a company's ability to engage, respond and provide good service in social media such as Twitter or Facebook. This challenge has been successfully addressed by a leading mobile operator in Asia with 30 million customers, obtaining two-digit growth from 2010 due to strong brand loyalty. The next two years will be a critical period for the operator as it executes network modernization programs, and improves business support systems and processes, aiming to make customer experience a key differentiator. Recently, the company launched a project aimed at providing its customers with a better experience through additional customer service channels. With this goal in mind, the operator and its BPO partner, a leading global systems integrator and business transformation consulting organization, chose Altitude's uci 8 solution to provide customer support through phone, and web forms, and to extend customer service to Facebook and Twitter. The BPO partner is a major provider of networking technology solutions and business process outsourcing (BPO) services to the global telecommunications industry (with revenue of over $1 billion in 2011). It has set up BPO operations in the local market, becoming one of the preferred BPO partners for strategic outsourcing for this telecommunications company. It now provides contact center support for sales and back office, customer care and technical support for wireless postpaid, landline and broadband customers - at both retail as well as the high-end. "The growth of social media represents an opportunity and a challenge, especially to business process and CRM outsourcers as a new channel to provide support services," stated the BPO Operations Manager. "The newest version of Altitude uci suite allowed us to offer unified cost effective solutions, always with our customer goals in mind," he added. This telco operator is a pioneer in providing new online channels aiming to provide subscribers with a variety of options where they can easily ask for aftersales support wherever they are and at whatever time of day. The new customer touch points for the operator - its official social networking accounts on Facebook and Twitter, and the support account, are now active on top of the existing channels available such as customer telephone hotlines. Customers can post and comment on the Facebook page or they can fill out a form that goes directly to the support team. On Twitter customers can ask and tag questions for support and customer service purposes. Responses can be public and/or placed through Direct Message. The Altitude uci 8 Social Service solution connects to the Facebook and Twitter accounts and it routes interactions to skilled agents. These agents have access to the unified customer history including all multichannel interactions. Using the Altitude multimedia agent desktop and scripts with knowledge-base sharing and spell check, agents can proactively notify and post in Facebook and Twitter. Supervisors and management can have access to tools that measure and monitor service levels, as well as business processes. "As part of our commitment to superior customer experience, we aim to get closer to customers using new service technologies that spell convenience, accessibility, and faster response," said the Director for Customer Experience. "This gives our customers an opportunity to use their preferred channel to communicate with us, letting them enjoy talking to us their way with the widest range of channels." The Altitude uci 8 social media customer service features create value for companies in the marketplace. Customers feel that the brand is proactive and follows up on their needs wherever they express them. Customer service and marketing decision makers use the contact center operations discipline to ensure service levels and acquire visibility on interactions and productivity. Companies can meet the social media challenge in the contact center with unified multichannel customer service that includes the new channels and effectively applies contact center discipline, metrics and resources to this new reality.
10 10 About Altitude uci 8 Unified Social Service Altitude uci 8 Unified Social Service enables companies to use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as unified new customer service channels to reach out to more customers and prospects. Contact centers can use unified, intelligent multimedia routing, unified customer history, skilled agents and consistent business processes to monitor, engage and respond, while applying customer service discipline, metrics and resources to ensure service levels and raise productivity. Altitude uci 8 is the latest release of the proven contact center solution suite, now in use in 1,100 contact centers worldwide. It includes hundreds of new features focused on increasing the contact center's ability to perform profitably, and delivers significant innovation in key contact center business areas, such as: real time information and insights, multimedia workflow, intelligent campaigns, and unified social media interactions. Altitude Software delivers a worldwide robust, modular solution that handles all customer interactions and unifies all touch points throughout the organization in an open, platform-independent solution, based on standards. With 17 offices in four continents and a strong partner network, Altitude Software leverages existing technology investments, adding value without disruption across a wide range of situations with low total cost of ownership. Altitude uci 8 new Social Service features allow contact centers to monitor, engage and respond to customers and prospects in Facebook and Twitter, using: Unified, intelligent multimedia interactions routing to skilled agents; Truly unified customer history, including all multichannel interactions; Multimedia agent desktop with knowledge base and spell check; Proactive notification and posting in social media, integrated chat, messaging and ; Tools that measure and monitor service levels, business and operational KPIs; Business workflow processes for quality control and approved actions; Interoperability with social aggregators and social monitoring engines.
11 Altitude Software is the leader of unified customer interaction solutions, managing dynamic contact centers independently of platforms since With about 1100 customers in 80 countries, Altitude strives for customer satisfaction and is ISO 9001 certified for its worldwide support. Altitude Software has won 50+ industry awards. "Altitude uci" (unified customer interaction) is a software suite that manages in real time enterprise functions like Customer Service, Help Desk, Collections, Telesales, Surveys, etc. It is unique in accelerating the creation of services and campaigns, thanks to the unified design studio, routing, dialler, voice portal, desktop front-end, monitoring and analytics. Altitude Software can be reached at Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Copyright and caution notice This document is intended for information purposes only. The information on this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment of Altitude Software in the future by Altitude Software SA. All rights reserved.
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