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Why Social Will Be a Key Factor in Customer Care for 2014

A version of this post was originally published on WIRED Innovation Insights. View the original full-length version here. social_apps_1

In looking at customer care, one reoccurring theme is social and the need for "the normalization of social." In general, social as a customer care channel will become much more commonplace. C-level executives are keen to leverage existing infrastructure, common metrics and incentive programs that have a proven track record. Below are four key areas that will be top priorities in social customer care in 2014:

Overloaded marketing departments will force the issue of social customer care

  • In 2014 more non-F500 customer care executives will get involved in social, including hard budgeting and putting together technology trials.
  • The excuse "you go first" will no longer work in social customer care because many top brands are already practicing social customer care--The thought leaders have already "gone first."
  • Marketing department heads will be pulled in for advice, but they will be pushing for care managers to become much more engaged.

Traditional contact center managers will embrace social as a promotion vehicle

  • More companies in 2014 will stop "experimenting" with social care and establish formal programs for it.
  • More senior managers will look at social pilot programs from a bottom line perspective.
  • Senior managers will want existing contact center supervisors and site managers to step up and start folding in the social channel just like they have done with chat and email.

Development of new SLAs and KPIs made for social care

  • There will be a larger demand for metrics to manage social engagement professionals.
  • There will be closer adherence to Service Level Agreements (SLAs). For example, the turn-around time for responding to a tweet or a Facebook post will be looked at as a new standard.
  • In the social realm, there will be new metrics agents will be measured by. For example, the percentage of social posts an agent handles that are of a "negative" sentiment.
  • Agent Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will fuel social engagement for customer care "gamification" leader boards in social contact centers.

Best practices for social engagement customer care will emerge

  • 2014 is the year existing best practices covering legacy text channels will be revised.
  • Best practices for social customer care agent assistance tools, and next best actions will be honed and shared with industry peers.

In conclusion, social engagement for customer care will accelerate in 2014 because of the leadership of some of the top brands. As senior management calls for traditional management of social channels, the natural reaction will be to set up measurements, incentives and best practices. This year is the turning point for much more of this activity. The tools are available and the trailblazers have set the stage for the next wave of practitioners to embrace social as a customer care channel.

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