By michaelpace on May 8, 2011
Audience for this post: Customer Service Leaders, Call Center Leaders, Partners/Vendors, SCRM peeps, Social Media Consultants
Not for: People who understand social business, social tools, and practice more than just daily
I love what I do. I [attempt to] thrill customers who choose “alternative” channels to receive their customer service or voice their opinions. By alternative, I mean non-typical call center service; I lead Knowledge Management, Social and Community Support, and Process Management/Service Recovery teams. I also have the good fortune to serve on the Board of Directors for the North East Contact Center Forum, and occasionally speak at conferences. For the 15 months, I have straddled the space between the Customer Service/Experience and the Social Business/Media worlds, and have had the opportunity to meet incredible people from both sides, but rarely do they meet in the middle. Social “Media” is hot in the Call Center/Customer Service arena right now, but for the audience of this post (see above) I have some strong words for you:
Stop trying to operationalize Social Customer Service (for now)
Stop asking these questions:
– What kind of SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) do we need?
– How many people should we staff this with?
– How can we calculate workforce management requirements?
– How do I monitor quality?
– How can tools (SCRM) answer the previous questions?
If you are in the industry that provides these answers, stop answering the questions.
You cannot operationalize something you do not understand. You may know how to swing a hammer, but that doesn’t make you a carpenter; it only makes you dangerous. You need to understand the why and how of social business/media/tools before you get to the what. Social business is very different than traditional linear business practices, there are multiple layers (called relationships).
Start asking these types of questions:
– How can my team and I get involved in social business/media?
– What communities or other conversation areas should we listen to and participate in?
– Where are my customers talking now? Where will they be?
– What are some great resources for my team to find more information about this subject?
– How do I conduct low-risk experiments?
– How do I involve others departments in these initiatives?
Once you understand the art of social business, you can start understanding the science (or start operationalizing your social presence). Spend a couple months understanding the answers to the second set of questions. You will know when you are ready, trust me, my “aha” moment hit me over the head like the hammer I was discussing earlier. There are plenty of resources out there for help, build relationships with them, and you are always more than welcome to ping me.
So, what kind of questions do you find yourself asking (and answering) – Operational or Involvement related?
P.S. For those folks who this post was not intended for, we need to clear and develop the paths for operationalizing social business (NOW).
P.S.S. I do know operationalizing is not really a word, but you know what I mean.
P.S.S.S. Great video for all leaders and readers on starting with Why from TED.