Today’s customer is going to talk about your business one way or another.
They’re going to chat, tweet, post, like, and share about you. They’re going to reply, comment, frown, LOL, and GIF about you.
You can’t stop that from happening. That’s the world we live in. But you can decide whether that discussion will be collaborative or corrosive.
Many companies are already using social listening to monitor digital channels, understand public sentiment about their brands and products, and intervene in conversations to convert negative brand experiences into positive ones. But, you may be overlooking another critical channel — your own customer community.
That’s why the next step in the evolution of the contact center is adding user communities as a customer service channel. These online forums are nothing new. Most companies have them to enable peer-to-peer connections, share best practices, and raise awareness of events. But few companies realize their full potential as a digital channel in their customer experience (CX) tech stack.
Done right, communities can be a private arena for handling customer issues in a social media-like environment where today’s customer is comfortable. It’s like a net that catches negative sentiment before ever going public in the first place. It’s a containment chamber for social interaction where your customers are invited to express themselves and be heard by you — privately.
This makes your community an ideal place for you to identify and create support cases. In today’s digitally interactive world, it makes sense to dedicate customer service agents to your community and treat it like the contact center channel that it is.
Communities also allow for more staffing flexibility than traditional phone lines, where the synchronous nature of live conversation requires agents to handle interactions one at a time. It takes far fewer people to provide a human touch with discussion threads in a community than it takes to provide live conversations over the phone.
In a modern contact center platform, you should make sure that:
Less people want to have a phone conversation than ever before. As traditional channels fade in value, others step in to take their place. The community is proving to be the next crucial digital channel in any customer service solution.
Derek Adams is a Product Marketer at Sprinklr and a life-long storyteller. He’s worked in technology for over 20 years and loves chronicling how it continuously evolves to enhance humanity.
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