Best Practices for Social Media Use in the Call Center

Over the years, call center agents have quickly moved from simple telephone solutions to e-mail, Web chat and more, and now, social media is becoming the latest go-to method of communication for consumers. In fact, it’s estimated that within five years, product-based social media interactions will be equivalent to that of phone interactions, according to DMG Consulting, with 70 to 80 percent of consumers becoming more service-oriented and requiring more attention.

 All of these new options – while extremely exciting – can feel a bit overwhelming for call center managers. Service organizations can no longer idly sit by and wait for customers to come to them; they need to instead utilize call center solutions that allow them to engage with consumers via Twitter, Facebook and any other social media channels that become popular in the upcoming months and years.

If you’re feeling anxious about your social media strategy, consider these two best practices for interacting with customers via Twitter and Facebook.

Recognize the Medium

While a normal e-mail response to a customer may be a number of pages long (but hopefully not), Twitter only allows for 140 characters. In interactions on this social media site, get to the point and use effective messaging, while also adopting a tone that is appropriate for your brand.

In addition to this, take best steps to accommodate the user; if they are following you on Twitter, follow them back. If they want to continue communicating through tweets, do so, but also offer them e-mail, Web chat, telephone and other options if they’d like to take their interaction to a new medium.

Response Time is Vital

While it’s important to use social media to help promote solutions and inform the public at large about your offerings, utilizing Facebook and Twitter as effective call center solutions will always ensure that inquiries are handled in the most effective manner possible. For instance, your company Facebook page posts a status asking customers what their holiday plans are for this year; meanwhile, an unanswered Facebook message sits in your inbox. You can bet that customer who is being ignored will take to your public wall to let you know that their holiday plans involve working with a different company.

While social media can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming, it’s important for call center managers to take it all in stride and do the best they can to adapt to these new technological advances in communication.

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