It’s no secret that a company’s customer service has expanded past its call center and into the land of social media. And while there are lots of tools you can use to help you successfully integrate social media activity into your customer service, it’s important to first figure out how the two will work together.

We spoke to Rodney Kuhn, founder and CEO at Envision to better understand the ways that social media can be woven into the fabric of customer service. Over the course of our conversation five themes emerged.

It’s About the Customer Journey

During our July Tweet Jam, many panelists asserted that the customer journey was defined by the customer, not the company. Kuhn agrees. But what if you want your customer to follow a different path or explore a new avenue?

There are ways that businesses can direct customers into new areas, but there has to be something in it for the customer. The best way to get the customer to trust you is to increase your availability. Being that social media is open 24 hours a day, and your call center may not be, make yourself available to answer questions or provide assistance during the times that your contact center isn’t available.

Share Knowledge to Spread Awareness

Know why your call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes? Envision makes it possible for other people within a company to listen to calls that pertain to a certain topic or product issue. After all personal and identifying information is stripped away from the recording, being able to have department members listen can be valuable to fixing product issues and addressing customer issues publicly. You can’t fix what you don’t know, so the better you can share customer issues straight from the customer’s mouth, the better equipped your company will be to handle them as they arise.

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An example of the Envision dashboard which lets the right people share and subscribe to customer recordings.

Empower the Call Agent

By now we know that empowered employees can often spearhead innovation. Same is true for when those employees are call agents in your contact center. Obviously it depends on the industry to determine just how flexible your call agent can be in helping to remedy a situation, but in general, agents who feel as if they are helping customers solve problems, rather than just acting as a sounding board, are going to perform better.