Advice on Social Engagement Dispositions

By Edwin Margulies

If you are a practitioner of Social Engagement for Customer Care, I'm sure you've often wondered how you can fine tune your workflow and dispositions strategy. And if you are part of managing a professional customer care organization, you are probably poring over disposition summary reports to get a handle on workflow status. Let's take a look at a few fresh ways to manage workflow and dispositions for your team.WorkflowStatus

First, what's a Disposition? Simply put, dispositions are a status indication representing a workflow milestone. For example, there are different states a social post item can be in as it relates to customer care. A social post item can be in an “open” state, a “transfer” (or handoff) state, or a “closed” state. Each state can have many different conditions. For example “item being researched,” or “outreach in progress,” or “pending approval” are all open dispositions. Likewise, “not applicable,” and “resolved,” could be closed or final dispositions. An agent will disposition social post items in order to move the workflow forward for a customer. Modern social engagement for customer care platforms allow you to create and change as many dispositions as you like. Here are examples of common dispositions for a service organization:


Note that each disposition is preceded by the word “Open,” “Transferred,” or “Closed.” This means there are many possible sub-types for each disposition type. The type called “Open” simply means that a social post item is being viewed by an agent and is no longer in queue. In this open state, the agent could be just eyeballing the post item and deciding what to do. Or the agent could be doing some research on the item before completing outreach. There's got to be more to it! If you are new to social engagement for customer care, there are some nuances about dispositions that may not be readily apparent. For example, if you are the first agent to take a social post item from the queue and you read it and determine it would be better handled by someone else who has technical expertise, you can change the disposition to “transferred – technical support.” Your colleagues in technical support will now be able to pick up where you left off and help the customer. But how do they get the items labeled  this way? Enter the ACD Once you select one of those transferred dispositions, there are two ways the correct person could get the item into their personal workspace. First, the transferred disposition itself can be used as an “ACD” (Automatic Call Distributor or Universal Queue Engine) trigger. This means that a universal queue management engine could scan for those transfers and use that as a means to “push” that item into the correctly skilled agent’s workspace. Likewise, a robust CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or Case Management system could be used to act on the same triggers for agent workflow. The more advanced CRM systems have  built-in business rules that allow you to trigger work item routing based on standard and even custom events and attributes. Filtering on Dispositions Another way to get social post items to the correct person is disposition filtering  using a non-ACD model that's more like "Cherry Picking." With Cherry Picking, agents select social post items from a queue using a Pull model, not a Push model. You can get creative with this by creating transfer dispositions that have the target agent's name embedded in them if you wanted to. Naturally, this is not automatic, but depending on how flexible your filtering settings are, it can be very powerful. By using advanced filtering, agents can concentrate on social post items that are “Transferred to Tier 2 Support” or “Transferred to Sales,” etc. Taking this to the next level, the most advanced systems allow you to sort social posts by relevancy score, sentiment, profile, cluster and other attributes as well. You might be thinking: “wow that’s a lot of power to put into the hands of an agent – where is the supervisor in all of this?” You are of course right to think this! More advanced systems have the capability for Supervisors to “Lock Down” the filtering on an agent-by-agent basis. That is called Supervisory Filtering or Lock-Down Filtering. What about Automatic Dispositioning? Another great feature of more advanced social engagement systems is their ability to leverage internal rules engines and dispositions at the same time. Let's say for example there are trending topics (word clouds, conversational clusters) about a produce transportation strike and you are a grocery store. The question is: "Is chatter about a transportation strike affecting oranges actionable for my customer care agents?" The answer is probably not. It's more probable your PR department would be better suited to figure out a corporate messaging strategy for that chatter. There are a few ways to deal with this situation. For example, you could implement a rule that automatically changes the disposition of the social post items in that word cloud for "Transferred - PR Department." Alternately, you could automatically disposition those items as "Closed." Either way, your customer care agents don't have to slog through all the post items dealing with the strike. Conclusion Social engagement for customer care is getting more flexible and powerful each day. The creative definition and use of dispositions gives you the ability to more effectively route social post items to the correctly skilled customer service agent. Take the time to review the naming and logic behind your dispositions and consider making changes with frequency. The use of rules-based triggers and supervisory filtering also gives you a lot of maneuvering room in workflow and agent workload.

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