The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

Using Social Networking for contact centres – WIP

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Although most of my posts are about social networking my main day job is a contact centre manager. The danger is to think that social networking is an activity in itself  and that we pigeon-hole it. Taking Metricman’s model which I reblogged below. It seems to me that the greatest business value comes from the right hand side of the chart – I really believe that social networking is where the enormous business benefit is rather than social media.

So in my day job I try to use social techniques to improve the way we do business. If in doubt, think social first. Here are some examples of what we do:

1. Collaboration. Communication is everything and in the contact centre comes loyalty, quality and teamwork. We use Yammer as a collaborative innovation tool and as a further communication layer. We use ALL opportunities to communicate with our team – face-to-face, webchat, blogging, memos, intranet, email and social media – and try to find the right method for what we are trying to achieve. A big part of this is establishing a meaningful two-way communication and we are really seeing the benefits of consulting rather than telling on topics such as dress-code, canteen facilities, productivity and improvement ideas. We are also collaborating with clients in the same ways and this creates a very rich partnership approach because of the openness and the depth of conversation.

2. Brand representation. We try to think of using social media as a way of communicating with the outside world both as a company but also as individuals. GreenContact is my personal blog but it is obviously tinged by my work experience at Prolog. We use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for activities as diverse as promotions, recruitment, branding and employee satisfaction. Once again, the starting point has to be to think social first. Many of the ideas don’t work or get very little response but you have to remember to compare it with traditional methods and also to compare the cost.

3. Social media listening and intervention. We are using a range of tools to monitor what is being said about us, our client’s brands, and our client’s competitors. We are doing this as a paid service but also to help us to do our job better as a supplier. It is giving us an insight into the issues affecting our clients and allowing us to adapt the way we train and the approach we take. We are only scratching the surface in this area I believe.

4. We are beginning to also then look at how Social Networking informs our business. An example we have currently is with forecasting and how social media can validate and project forecasts –  we are trying to correlate the noise generated with social media with the subsequent activity through traditional channels. Many of the free Twitter tools which offered trending are closed but an interesting alternative is Google Trends which links numbers of searches with news activity (see the graphic before looking at volumes on phone hacking linked to news coverage). Understanding the linkage between awareness and interest levels and the move to action can help significantly. We can see forecast peaks which have no linkage with the groundswell of conversation and which don’t have any promotional activity planned which makes us question how realistic the forecast is. We can also see some other work where the volume of conversation is growing steadily over time and, as a result, what we thought was a blip may actually be something more. It’s work in progress but has huge potential I think.

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Written by greencontact

July 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

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