The Ultimate Alliance: Marketing and the Contact Center

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Social media has become the holy grail for CMOs and CIOs and COOs alike. Clamoring to unlock all of its mysterious and hidden opportunity, departments within companies have long competed for control over social media properties and responsibilities.

As more and more consumers are taking to channels such as Twitter and Facebook to commend or complain, traditional marketing departments are feeling the pain. After all, solving urgent customer issues, fixing a billing error or rebooking missed flights, isn’t really what marketers were trained to do.

We’ve come to an interesting intersection for social media, marketing and ultimately what’s best for the customers. Study after study and report after report proves the age old adage, treat your customer well and success is sure to follow. And if you don’t, you’ll be sure to hear about it on Twitter. From a customer experience perspective, it’s imperative brands are actively listening for customer complaints and insights. It’s also important to understand how those interactions are responded to and what info can be gleaned from the process to make the experience better.

As internal departments try and divvy up social responsibilities, it may make more sense to approach this from a perspective of abundance versus scarcity. After all, there’s plenty of work to go around when it comes to navigating social media and perfecting your comprehensive social strategy.

When looking at scaling social customer support and the most efficient use of contact center and marketers time, here are some things to consider:

What’s the biggest risk and how does the whole team mitigate it?

Marketers spend time and money protecting and pushing company brands forward. Handing over that responsibility to a customer service agent just feels wrong. It’s important for marketers to know that with proper training and the right tools in place, scaling customer service interactions via social will only benefit marketing programs. For example, putting social customer care with the contact center frees the marketing team from routing customer service issues, while empowering the contact center to fully do its job. Speedy responses via social media are one of the best brand builders and no marketer could argue that.

What will the rules of engagement be and how can multiple organizations stay within their lanes while best serving customers?
This will take good old fashioned teamwork and collaboration, but by using a tool that allows for greater transparency into the social conversations regarding your brand, it’s pretty easy to stay off eachothers’ toes.

Is your organization ready to scale social customer care?

Many times, good or bad, we tend to show our intention before gathering the right data. We are guided by our gut rather than the numbers. Before pushing for any changes, do the math, make allies and work together to do right by the customer and your employees. For instance, traffic over social may not require a full blown transition from the marketing team to the contact center. Additionally, marketing may have the customer service issue solved through another approach or technology. Get a full view of the current situation prior to trying to solve a possible non-issue.

Customer service and social media both are functions that fall within many circles of responsibility. It’s often difficult to get the formula perfect, but staying open to the many options for success, and keeping the customer first always, are good mantras to abide by when dividing up social media duties across organizations.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Rachel, interesting perspective which, I think, applies to more than social media. It is likely also chat, with a sales focus and other channels, too. If set up properly the contact center then also becomes an invaluable source for additional data that marketing and sales can use for improved targeting of customer, thus better customer experience on several angles.

    2 ct from Down Under
    Thomas
    @twieberneit

  2. Thanks for the comment, Thomas. I agree 100% with you. The conversation about social as a service channel is rapidly becoming one of chat and other messaging applications. The contact center, and its ability to scale, is a great resource for many departments.

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