Social Media, Customer Service, and the Omnichannel Contact Center

These days, multitasking is a way of life. On-the-go and juggling multiple errands at once, customers might need to step away from what they're doing and continue a conversation through another channel, such as social media or text messaging.

A customer reaches an omnichannel contact center through social media
With an omnichannel contact center, your business can integrate social media into your customer service to improve engagement and brand image.

An omnichannel contact center empowers businesses to keep the exchange going, no matter what channel the customer hops onto next. That way, they enjoy a frictionless experience and a satisfying resolution to their query.

Frictionless Customer Service, on the Customer's Terms

When a customer starts a conversation with a chatbot or person through a website or an app, there's a good chance they may need to switch channels at some point — they might realize they're late to pick up their child from school, or that they need to leave the office to beat the evening rush home.

Terminating the conversation and starting from scratch later can be frustrating. A busy customer would much rather continue using a different channel that's more convenient during their next move. In the not-so-distant past, a business would have been hard-pressed to accommodate this request. But with this kind of contact center, companies can now offer this kind of flexibility.

Many customers are more likely to contact a brand first through social media or through a messaging app. For example, a customer might reach out to a retail company about a problem with their recent purchase via Twitter, hoping to get a quick response.

After a few messages back and forth, it might become clear that the conversation would go more smoothly on the phone. When the customer dials the company's customer service line, the contact center passes along the relevant information to the agent fielding the call, giving them what they need to complete the interaction efficiently.

The Perfect Message, No Repeating, Every Time

No one loves repeating themselves to a new agent every time they call in with the same issue, but what really grinds customers' gears is getting a different answer from different contacts at the same organization. With an omnichannel contact center, neither of these things ever needs to happen again. Omnichannel eliminates both of these pain points, ensuring an improved customer experience.

The ability to promise this kind of experience is important to the survival of your business. In the customer's eyes, every interaction they have is with a single entity, regardless of which channel they use or which representative they engage with. And that means they expect to receive consistent responses and a helpful resolution no matter which device they use. By delivering an omnichannel customer experience, a business can increase customer loyalty and reinforce its brand.

Delivering a high-quality customer experience could not be more critical in today's competitive, digital-first environment. In fact, customer experience is anticipated to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.

Enabling Proactive Social Customer Service in Omnichannel Contact Centers

A multichannel contact center can also help a company provide proactive customer service, quickly reaching customers who are expressing discontent on social media. As all businesses know, personal testimonials about a product or a service have a strong influence on whether or not a client continues doing business with the company in question.

And when a customer's discontent is published to a public forum, it can also discourage others from approaching that business for their own needs. That can generate a ripple effect, turning potential customers away and tarnishing the company's brand image. This is the key reason why most companies strive to resolve customer service issues on social media before they become more severe.

Sentiment Analysis: Protecting Reputations

Going the omnichannel route allows you go the extra mile, monitoring social media for conversations about a company, its products, and its services. Applying social media sentiment analysis can determine which posts express a particularly high level of frustration, and prioritizes them for a quick resolution. It can route a request to a specific representative with precisely the right experience to resolve the problem right away.

And, crucially, it gives that representative a wealth of data about the particular customer's past interactions with the business, helping them provide the effective, personalized service that customers have come to expect.

Delivering a high-quality customer experience could not be more critical in today's competitive, digital-first environment. As CustomerThink reports, customer experience is anticipated to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. But this also provides an opportunity: That same research indicates that 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. As businesses evaluate the strategies and technologies that will enable them to provide peerless, industry-leading customer interactions, they should consider the benefits that an omnichannel contact center offers.

To learn more about how cloud communications can help your enterprise deliver an omnichannel customer experience, speak to a Vonage Business representative.

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