Implementing a Social Enterprise? Don’t Lose Your Voice.

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These days, lots of people are talking about the Social Enterprise, and with good reason: the Social Enterprise isn’t just marketing hype – it’s today’s business reality. As consumers increasingly spend their Internet time interacting on social networks, businesses have evolved sophisticated techniques to market, service and sell to a social audience. However, many of these same innovative companies also fail to recognize the importance of an equally vital medium in developing and maintaining a Customer Social Network (made up of customers, prospects, and potential buyers) –  the voice channel.

What does the voice channel have to do with social networking?

As any person with excellent networking and interpersonal skills will attest, the ability to acquire and maintain information about people in your network is perhaps your greatest asset. On the other hand, the vast majority of interactions between a business and its customers are via the voice channel, which might seem to evade network integration. When using a CRM and Social Enterprise tool such as Salesforce, however, it’s possible to use integrated cloud-based call center software to capture voice interactions in the same contact history that is maintained for social interactions. An integrated contact history that spans communication channels is critical to maintaining a company’s competitiveness in the evolving world of customer relations. And furthermore, as we’ll see, large numbers of social media interactions ultimately escalate to a live call with a company’s representative.

Why is it important to integrate voice and social channels?

A 2011 study by ClickFox indicates that 2 in 3 customers are willing to use social media for customer service. However, a recent report by Forrester Consulting indicates that nearly 80% of respondents prefer to use the voice channel. Additionally, the ClickFox study reports that over 40% of customers who didn’t achieve resolution via social media subsequently called the company’s toll-free number for service. Clearly, it’s important to not only answer those calls promptly, but also for contact center agents to know that the customer previously attempted to receive service via the social channel. Using an integrated contact center voice channel with your Social CRM can ensure that with each phone call, agents are aware of any previous social interactions with the caller. History and context of an interaction will drive faster resolution and improve customer satisfaction.

How does the voice channel improve marketing, service and sales in the social channel?

It’s critical that the social and voice channels work in tandem when serving the Customer Social Network. Indeed, the traditional voice channel may enhance and improve social media interactions – providing a richer customer experience. By capturing social media “handles” from their customers, along with the phone information that is typically collected, companies can ensure that the voice and social channels can be linked together for each of their clients.

With solutions such as Radian6, companies can more easily identify promoters, detractors, and sales prospects within the social channel. Since Radian6 is tightly integrated with Salesforce, those contacts are all available to the breadth of functionality provided by the Salesforce platform, opening up opportunities to use an integrated contact center voice channel to proactively engage those contacts. 

For example, a sales agent can see a recent pattern of mentions of a new product from an existing customer on Twitter, and simply click to call that customer to up-sell the new product. Or, a service agent can see that a negative comment on Facebook was related to a prior phone call with a customer service agent, and use that information to respond more effectively on Facebook.

Bottom Line: Unify your Social Enterprise Across Communication Channels

When implementing your Social Enterprise, make sure you also integrate cloud-based contact center software to extend your Salesforce solution and unify your communication channels so that you can Market, Service and Sell more effectively.

This is a guest post from David Van Everen,VP, Product Management at Five9, IncFive9 is a leading provider of call center software in the cloud, serving over a thousand customers and tens of thousands of agents every day. Check out our joint white paper with Five9: New World of Customer Expectations.



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