Social Media in the Contact Center: Are You In?

By Robert A. Kobek

What is the general acceptance of social media as a customer service vehicle? How does your contact center measure up? The results of a survey this January produced interesting results that create a great benchmark for future studies. Commissioned by Connections Magazine and iTesa, the survey was a collaborative effort with CustomerCount℠ who deployed the online survey.

Titled “Social Media by Default” the intention of this information is measuring the adoption of social media in the contact center. The results give contact center professionals the opportunity to gauge how they stack up against their peers, to set a benchmark for future surveys, and to determine which type of centers (enterprise versus BPO, inbound versus outbound, among other demographic qualities) are relying on social media and to what degree.

Key Results: Forty-seven percent of the respondents identified themselves at the president or C-suite level, while 28 percent identified their classification as enterprise or BPO.

The question “Which statement most closely describes your company’s use of social media for customer interaction purposes?” demonstrates where organizations identified their various stages of using social media. The highest response, at just over one-third, was “beginner.”

Answers also indicate that individuals are more apt to rely upon social media for information than their companies would expect them to.

In addition, the following information was gleaned from our survey:

  • Sixty-five percent of the respondents said social media was used for promotion and advertising, while only 19 percent indicated they use social media for customer care.
  • Seventy-one percent of the respondents indicated that social media was used by individuals in a company.
  • Thirty percent reported that using social media was a part of the expectation of the company. This and the prior statistic show a reliance and personal use of social media by individuals in a company as opposed to the expectation of the company. (Individuals are more apt to rely upon social media for information than their companies expect them to.)
  • Eighty percent revealed the nonuse of dedicated agents to use social media for customer care. This is consistent with questions about the use of social media for customer care, where 19 percent said social media was used for customer care.
  • Seventy-five percent noted the intended increase of social media in the contact center as a customer care vehicle.

The Bottom Line: While contact center professionals are aware of the need to incorporate social media in their centers, there is some reluctance to do so. Of those who are using social media, 64 percent are using Facebook, and 64 percent use social media for networking—two figures that are directly related yet have no apparent impact, positive or negative, on performance or customer loyalty.

Robert A. Kobek is president of CustomerCount.

[From Connection Magazine April 2013]

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About Peter DeHaan

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan shares his passion for life and faith through words. Peter DeHaan’s website (http://peterdehaan.com) contains information and links to his blogs, newsletter, and social media pages. Peter DeHaan is the president of Peter DeHaan Publishing, Inc., (http://peterdehaanpublishing.com) the publisher and editor of Connections Magazine and AnswerStat, and editor of Article Weekly.