Social Media and Multichannel Contact Centers

Why they Go Hand-In-Hand

By Jelani Harper
Updated: September 26, 2011

Social Media and Multichannel Contact Centers

Social media applications can play a significant role in the work related to multichannel contact centers, as many customers are changing conventional telephony-based communication to include text messaging, emailing, as well as social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Consequently, enterprises that are savvy enough to utilize social media for its fairly cheap and efficient marketing potential will have a lot more inquiries and traffic—from all of the aforementioned channels—directed to their multichannel contact centers, which need to be well prepared to handle the variety of issues that social media users are likely to provide.

Staff Training

The training of multichannel contact center employees in the specific tasks necessary for communication with social media users will be an additional operational expense. Social media correspondents need to be aware of the fact that users may have their list of contacts and particular social community following their communication in real-time, which could be potentially disastrous if inappropriate information is disseminated. Employees should also be trained in the fact that several consumers employ more than one media at once, which agents may need to do as well to keep up with the rapidity of the information exchanged on the internet.

Sophisticated Clientele

Additionally, there should be a proper infrastructure put in place to deal with the level of sophistication of inquiries from users of social media, who are frequently more savvy and better informed than customers who do not use such resources. It is fairly essential to route communication from social media users to the multichannel contact center, and not to an enterprise’s marketing department, which oftentimes may not be prepared to handle technical questions or provide the degree of specificity regarding features of a product.

To assist with this issue, enterprises should employ purpose-built applications for social media—such as Cisco’s SocialMiner—that detects predefined keywords and then promptly routes such communiqué to the contact center. Ideally, such purpose-driven applications should be integrated with CRM so contact center representatives can sufficiently handle inquiries.


Social media inquiries require the most advanced form of analytics available, so operations can promptly address the needs of an inquiry in the expedient timeframe with which internet-based information is processed. The determining of analytics information such a customer’s social media profile, his or her amount of activity and relative influence for a particular site, can help identify which inquiries need to be handled with particular care.

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