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Q&A: How social media can bring effective customer interaction

T.C. Seow | July 23, 2013
Where does social media stand in the grand scheme of things for unified communication? In a question-and-answer session, Rachel Wentik of Interactive Intelligence shares with CIO Asia her views on what organisations need to do to harness the power of social media, and what need to be addressed to propel their organisations forward.

Where does social media stand in the grand scheme of things for unified communication? In a question-and-answer session, Rachel Wentik of Interactive Intelligence shares with CIO Asia her views on what organisations need to do to harness the power of social media, and what need to be addressed to propel their organisations forward.

Rachel Wentik
Photo: Rachel Wentik

Wintek holds the position of Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at Interactive Intelligence. She and her team focus on the sale and successful adoption of two of the newest business applications from Interactive Intelligence, namely Interaction Process Automation (IPA) and Interaction Content Manager (ICM). They have consulted with a variety of organisations and deployed IPA worldwide. Her team also developed and manage the Interactive Intelligence MarketPlace, an e-commerce website for customers offering a variety of add-on products for the Interactive Intelligence software suite from third-party developers and the Strategic Initiatives team.

Question: How do social tools such as Facebook and Twitter help enterprises?

Rachel Wentik: They can assist enterprises to discover how their customers and prospects really feel about the organisation, its products, services, personnel and processes. Prior to social media, it was easier for an organisation to be unaware of the true feelings people had about them, or to ignore those feelings.

Some organisations now respond to Facebook and Twitter as a channel to report support incidents. For those who are more advanced in the use of social media, they also use them as a channel in which their most loyal customers act as evangelists and respond to other prospect and customer questions. For loyal customers, it is a way to demonstrate their expertise. For the organisation, it becomes a way to extend their "workforce" and provide even better customer service.

Marketers within an enterprise also use these channels to dialogue with prospects and customers and build loyalty.

What are the new generation of the contact centre industry and the key trends that impact customer interaction in today's business climate?

  • Communications as a Service (CaaS)—enables even smaller contact centres to deploy more sophisticated functionality to improve the customer experience at a lower overall cost. For instance, some CaaS vendors offer advanced quality monitoring and coaching; fully integrated multi-channel capability; outbound predictive dialling; real-time speech analytics; customer satisfaction surveys and the like, which small contact centres traditionally could not consider because of the steep capital expenditures.
  • Multichannel, including Social Media—organisations need to be able to respond to prospects and customers in their channel of choice, including phone calls, email, web chat, SMS, and to tweets and postings on common social media sites such as Facebook. Even if your organisation is not yet convinced it's worthwhile to respond to those tweets and postings, as noted above, at the very least through Social Media you can learn what people like about your organisation, and what drives them crazy. It can help you improve over time.
  • Everything mobile—consumers and customers want to perform commonly requested functions on mobile devices, and if they are unable to complete them, or need to escalate them, they want to request a callback or call into the contact centre. The key is to do so with the context of what they were trying to do within the mobile app, rather than requiring them to describe everything they had been doing to the contact centre agent.
  • Increased need for speed and accuracy—in today's competitive market, organisations need to respond more quickly and accurately to requests and complaints by both prospects and customers. This can result in increased revenue in a sales context, or improved customer loyalty where the complaint is post-sale. Both can positively affect an organisation's bottom line.

 

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