The availability and use of the right metrics have ALWAYS been at the heart of the most successful contact center operations. So, it’s no wonder that, as more and more contact centers are given the responsibility for handling social media based customer service, a question I’m hearing more and more often is: What are the best metrics for managing social media response in the contact center?
Before I provide my opinion, let me first do some level setting. When I think of social media based customer service, I think of it in terms of customers using social media—in addition to traditional contact channels—to ask questions, lodge complaints, request support, etc. I think of it as customers posting AT you rather than simply posting about you. So, from this respect, social media based customer service is very similar to customers using the phone or emails to make the same type of requests. I deal with this whole issue of social customer service in more detail in a recent blog post: What is Social Media Response Management—Why Is It Needed?
My answer then, and please don’t take this as a flippant response, is this: what metrics do you use to manage phone calls, emails, and other customer interaction channels? If you’ve got a good set of metrics that are helping you successfully manage those other channels, why not use some of those same metrics to manage your social media channel?
It’s not rocket science, although all the hype around social media would lead you to believe that it is. With all that hype, it’s easy to lose perspective. It is true that social media presents some unique challenges, and the information available from a social media post provides a lot more information that is not available to us in other contact channels.
And, there are some powerful ways you can use that data—which I’ll deal with in future posts. But, at its core—setting all the hype aside—I believe that what you need to know to successfully manage your social customer service operation is the same, good old fashioned stuff you’ve been using to successfully manage your other contact center channels for years:
- How many posts are we receiving?
- How does it compare to previous time periods?
- How is traffic trending?
- When are we receiving them?
- What (reason/request type) are they about?
- Where (source) are they from?
- Who (demographic) are they from?
- How many responders do we need and when do we need them?
- Given the type of requests we are receiving, what do we need to do from a training perspective to ensure we have enough responders with the appropriate expertise?
- How many posts are we processing?
- How long, on average, does it take us to process each one?
- Who is most productive and least productive?
- How does individual or group productivity compare to others?
- Where are our processing bottlenecks?
- How are we performing relative to our current response time service levels?
- What are our resolution rates?
- Which types do we do a better job with than others? Which ones need attention?
- How are we performing relative to our quality standards?
The Right Metrics Require the Right Platform
It’s one thing to know what you need. It’s another to have access to the data that makes it possible to answer these questions. And, its another to have tools that you need to resolve issues raised by the data. This is especially true with respect to social customer service. Social customer service is a relatively new concept.
Many of the current social media platforms are marketing oriented platforms. They track and measure those things that are important from a marketing perspective.
As a contact center operations manager, you need different data. You need the data that will help you answer the questions I outlined above. And, for that, you need a platform that operates in a similar manner and stores the same type of data element as your other contact center platforms, such as your telephony ACD and/or your email management systems.
Be careful here. Many of the marketing oriented social media platforms will tell you they provide these types of data points. Some do. Most do not. When analyzing any social media platform that promises this kind of data, it might make sense to use this list of questions as a vetting tool. Ask the vendor how their system provides the data to answer these specific questions., and more importantly, what tools they provide to help you resolve or leverage the information you uncover.
By the way, our product can provide the data to help you answer these questions, and a whole lot more, and the tools actually do something about it.. It’s called SocialResponder™, and it was designed, form the beginning, as a social customer service management platform for contact centers. It’s called SocialResponder™. Check it out.