Prepping Agents for the Social Media Spotlight


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One of the biggest hurdles to scaling social customer service in the contact center is entrusting agents with handling very public customer interactions via social media.

The last thing contact center managers want is that dreaded call from the PR or Marketing department saying that an agent did more harm than good when trying to help a customer or a negative experience happened with a member of the press or some other influential stakeholder.

In addition, with the myriad of other issues to manage, your company’s PR team would prefer not to add something else to their plates.

This is where training comes into play. Training builds engagement and trust as well as arms agents for any situation when delivering social customer service.

Most PR nightmares happen because people didn’t know what to do or say. Either they say too much, or not enough. Silence isn’t always golden and when we are dealing with Social Media, stat after stat tells us that responding quickly is key a positive customer experience.

Companies in the process of or even thinking about taking their contact center digital, be it through social media or expanding universal messaging, have to be training agents for new situations. Social Customer Service Agents will be seeing a very filtered version of the internet, one that deals specifically with your company and brand.

As you approach this, first and foremost, bring in those who lead relationships with key stakeholders. These stakeholders could be analysts, press, investors high potential or profile customers, etc. Each of these groups will be subject to different ways relationship holder preferences.
Here are some examples of situations you’ll want to consider:

A member of the media tweets asking about a rumored product release where details have been leaked. Internally, it’s widely known that the product is in development but it’s hit snags and not ready for prime time. An agent may want to route that to the PR team for a response.

Financial press or analysts may questions about a public company’s stock price, nonpublic financial metrics, or may even be bad mouthing the company’s performance. That may be something Investor Relations would like to know about.

A journalist crosses into the territory being a customer and his or her interaction with your company’s Facebook page or twitter handle is strictly for getting a billing issue resolved, or asking about a package delivery. Agents should have context for who they are speaking with, but it’s within their scope to solve this customer issue.

From a PR perspective, it’s important for the right hand to know what the left hand is doing. Much of this can be solved by integrating current monitoring tools, and making sure their are right Rules of Engagement and processes in place. It’s embarrassing for the same company to publicly be giving different answers on the same topic. Many of these VIPs have giant followings, so leaving a bad taste in their mouth due to a disjointed interaction can do real damage that extends beyond the 140 character response from an agent.

Rachel Romoff
Rachel is a native Philadelphian living in Texas. She enjoys the outdoors, exploring Pinterest for new recipes and being a mom. As head of marketing at HelpSocial, The #1 integration platform for customer care and social media, Rachel enjoys navigating the intersection of start up marketing and providing stellar customer experiences.


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