By Chris Lee
Industry reports indicate that of customers who complain about a company on social media, more than 70 per cent of those complaints receive no response from that organisation, according to software developer LiveOps.
“It’s time for change,” believes Marty Beard, president and CEO of LiveOps. “As consumer adoption of social and mobile communications becomes ubiquitous, brands are forced to contend with a mega-shift in customer behaviour and expectations for real-time responses.”
Beard said that social media and constant mobile connectivity have permanently changed the traditional concepts of the customer service contact centre and customer relationship management (CRM). To address this changing relationship, LiveOps launched “LiveOps Social”, a cloud application based on the LiveOps Platform to manage social customer interactions, including real-time social monitoring of designated Twitter accounts and Facebook Pages, as well as by hashtag or keyword.
LiveOps Social routes messages to the best available agent to respond quickly based on the customer or message content. Beard said this provides a single, concise record of the customer’s complete interaction history is presented in the agent’s integrated multichannel desktop. Individual agent performance on LiveOps Social can also be monitored and tracked, and reporting of all customer-agent interactions across all channels is available in a single system.
Beyond monitoring, with LiveOps Social customer service agents can tweet or post comments easily in response to customer needs, including pivoting seamlessly from Twitter or Facebook to more private channels such as voice or email when required and then back again if needed. Messages can also be automated, with scheduled tweets or posts. Beard explained that for additional quality management, optional reply templates are available for standardised responses and managers can also screen comments or tweets by agents before they are posted on Facebook or Twitter.
“The companies we see reaching new heights of success with these integrations and in some cases transforming their business, are those who acknowledge and understand how their customers are currently communicating via social and mobile,” Beard told NMK. “In fact one of our UK clients said: ‘we had to get social in order to join the conversations our customers were having about us, without us.’ This is not an uncommon realisation for companies that start looking at all the ways their customers are communicating with and about their brand.”
Beard said that a great place to start to understand how companies’ customers perceive their brand in the social-sphere is via their marketing department.
“Many marketing departments are using social to push out promotions so the brand has already established a social presence. This presence is inviting and encouraging customers to socially interact with the brand,” he said. “In this type of scenario, it’s just a matter of creating that technological hand-shake between marketing and the customer service contact centre to ensure the company is taking a holistic approach to social CRM and not letting any valuable customer data be ignored.”
One LiveOps Social user in the UK is Royal Mail. According to Steven Henman, Communications Channel Development Manager at Royal Mail, the group was already aware that people were talking about it and wanted to get involved.
“So it was really important that we start to engage with these customers. Talking to customers via Twitter, in blogs and on forums is quite different than sending an email,” he said.
Beard concluded that being able to quickly respond to and address customers’ needs based on real-time data gathered during social interactions -whether the interaction was inspired by marketing or not – is how he sees companies “reach new levels of success” with this model.