Jim Iyoob is Chief Customer Officer for Etech Global Services. Jim has 20+ years of contact center outsourcing experience in inbound, outbound, chat and social media operations, and is a respected speaker, author and subject-matter expert for call center solutions.

8 Tips for Empowering Social Media Agents with Integrated Live Chat

Social Media Live ChatThe job of a contact center agent is challenging. It is not a simple task to interact with a lot of different people daily and remain positive and helpful even when customers are frustrated and angry. Tenured agents have a high level of emotional intelligence allowing them to vary their approach based on the situation. While many customer care agents are prepared to provide service over standard channels such as email and phone many are not trained to help on social media platforms. How do brands train agents to provide the same outstanding customer service over all channels? Here are eight tips for empowering social media agents with integrated live chat:

  1. Establish familiarity: Different channels require a variety of customer care approaches, making training and familiarity essential. Offer a basic overview of each channel, and assist agents in establishing accounts if they don’t have them. Then guide them through the first few interactions.

  2. Include multiple training sessions: Repetition is crucial, whether it is a single session designed for the beginner, intermediate, or advanced user or a series of training’s. While the same information is not repeated during every session, interactions are nonetheless built on the skills that are useful at all levels.    

  3. Offer practice simulations: Role playing exercises or simulations are beneficial for everyone. It is also advantageous for the trainer and brand to discover where a representative may benefit from extra help, where more details are necessary, or where another step can be incorporated in the training technique.

  4. Provide real-time feedback: Ask the trainee for their thoughts and opinions and provide feedback. Feedback is essential even if it is not in real time. You might consider a wrap up report or evaluation at the completion of the training.

  5. Establish best practices for each channel and for all channels: Interactions during a one-on-one phone call are quite different than those in Tweet or Facebook messages, which can be shared with millions of people. Remind representatives to be cognizant of the public and viral nature of social media interactions.

  6. Establish best practices resources with reference information: List responses or phrases that can be customized, pasted, and copied for agents to access quickly. There are some best practices that are standard regardless of the channel, while others are specific to the platform.

  7. Establish a brand voice for social media interactions: It is also vital to establish a brand voice for all live chat service representatives to follow. Whether it is professional, friendly, casual, or a unique blend, set the standard for all agents to emulate.

  8. Focus on quality control: Consistency and quality are particularly important when interacting with the public because videos and written words live a long time in the virtual world. It is simple for customers to share communication that can go viral quickly.

Social customer service is increasingly becoming more and more important, and it is essential to train customer care representatives to handle all sources of social interactions. Embracing the forward trend of social media customer service and delivering it with compassion and professionalism will reflect well on the brand and customer expectations.

This blog post is first published on LinkedIN

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