Social media is now migrating in full force to the enterprise, with particular importance for contact centers. To find out its perspective on this aspect of business socialization, CMSWire recently talked to customer contact vendor, Aspect Software’s Chief Marketing Officer Jim Freeze.

Earlier this month, Aspect announced a partnership with Lithium Technologies, exclusively integrating Lithium’s Social Web product with its customer contact software and creating a new Aspect Social offering. Lithium’s enterprise social customer platform is designed to assist businesses in using social media to help their customers, and it includes a role-based interface with specific access levels, patented algorithms for scoring social media posts based on such factors as sentiment and follow-up and the ability to follow a conversation thread instead of only posts.

Marketing, Customer Service

In virtually every customer interaction platform, social media is climbing aboard, including those from Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Kana and others. But a key question businesses are facing is -- where in the organization is social media ending up?

Freeze noted that, in its booming but relatively short life, social media has “often been seen as the province of marketing,” which was focused on an increased social presence -- “more likes on Facebook or more Twitter followers.”

The problem with marketing’s ownership of social media, he said, is that “many customers use social media as a way to find answers to an issue,” so there is less of a connection between how marketing is using the tools then how customers are. “Marketing is not the best for customer support,” the head of Aspect’s marketing effort said. As Lithium Technologies CEO Bob Tarkoff has told news media, “the real power of social media lies in its ability to engage and enlist, not just tally.”

Aspect Social website image.png From the Aspect Software Web site

Freeze added that, while “many companies would probably agree” with the fact that social media is becoming increasingly important for customer service, “lots of companies are still just using listening tools and are not being very pro-active.” They need to move from a “one-way monologue into a social dialogue,” he said.

Leveraging Experience

Freeze said that Aspect Social is specifically built for contact centers, while most social media products being used for customer service are not. Aspect’s tools, for instance, are action-oriented, designed to capture social interaction and then direct them to the proper person. Actions are routed through automatic categorization that includes subject, language and type, responses are prioritized based on urgency, customer know-how and social status, and forecasting can project and allocate social resources.