I was talking a couple of days ago to someone about Attensity Respond, our engagement system for the social contact center. We were discussing how Respond makes social teams more productive, giving them more access to information, and optimizing their efforts, when this person said, “This is great! We can finally get rid of the social ninja and make social just like any other channel – so that any agent can handle social calls instead of having this elite group.”
I responded, “No, not at all. Respond is all about empowering the social ninja”.
What do I mean by this?
Social response teams are a unique brand of people. They are usually very technology-savvy, have been with a company for a long time (so they are very knowledgeable), and quite often even have a wicked sense of humor. (Have you ever trolled through Twitter for tweets to and from the Microsoft Xbox support team?) Social ninjas are the front line brand ambassadors for their companies, building stronger relationships with customers and increasing brand loyalty and CSAT scores.
You can’t rate a social ninja on just how many calls they answer, for they not only are responsible for answering direct cries for help, but on going out and seeking those customers who need help on social media, but don’t know exactly how to ask. A quick scan of Twitter, for example, reveals that there are a lot of people out there who don’t know how to look up a company’s official Twitter support handle and address a tweet directly to them. Instead, they might tweet to the company’s marketing handle. Or use a hashtag instead of an @. Or just use the company name or nickname in their plea.
Respond’s natural language processing techniques empower social teams to go out into the wilderness of social media and find those lost customer souls about to churn. It helps them zero in on the customers of rival companies to allow them to make compelling switching offers. It allows them to seamlessly move from the world of social to more detailed email conversations, and then back to social, tracking their movements and providing a complete customer record. It gives the social ninja access to the wealth of information available in a company’s Microsoft, salesforce, or other CRM system, so that they are empowered with everything they need to make the customer happy.
So, no, the holy grail of social response systems is not to make social like every other channel. I believe ultimately, it is to make social such a compelling model for the new customer care professional that it affects the very core of the company-customer relationship, deepening it and transforming the way that people think about the brands they consume.
What do you think? Let’s discuss.