Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Contact Centers, Are You Engaging Customers Through Social Media?

By: Sean Hawkins

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo and Conference last week in San Diego. On several occasions, I was asked how the contact center can engage customers in social media. Traditionally, customer engagement is a skill set utilized by Marketing and Sales. However, with the steady rise of social media support, the contact center must adopt a customer engagement plan of action.

In the same way marketing is looking to generate buzz, so too, must the service center. In my opinion, social customer service should be more than a repository for negative and critical feedback.  While you expected some negative posts or tweets, there should also be an expectation to build a community with your clients. A great example of this is a Twitter conversation I had with @DoveMenCare during the NCAA basketball tournament. As I had been tweeting about the games, they wanted to know who I was picking to win and why. This led to an ongoing discussion throughout the tournament. 

At no time did they try to sell or market their product. Rather, they came to my place of interest and made a meaningful impact. If you’re looking to interact with customers through social media in a more significant way, consider the following:

1.    Get personal--Wish them happy birthday and congratulate them on milestones.
2.    Interact--Comment, Like,  Share, Retweet, Reply, and Favor.
3.    Giveaways--Randomly select a customer for a gift certificate or credit their account.
4.    Be relevant--The goal of social is to be social. Therefore, utilize current events (sports, Grammys, movies) as a means of connecting with your customers.

There are certainly others ways to connect and engage customers. I would love to hear what you are doing to connect with your customers.

Sean is a Contact Center manager with over 13 years of experience. He has a terrific pulse on incorporating innovation into the contact center. He's implemented social, outsourcing partners, new technology, and new products, while maintaining an award-winning contact center.

His contact center is a past winner of the ICMI "Global Call Center of the Year" award for Small to Medium-Sized Centers.

Follow on Twitter @SeanBHawkins

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