Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Customer Service Trends: Monitoring and Responding to Social Media Conversations

August 23, 2011

Most companies today are quite aware that the advent of social media changed the nature of customer service and brand reputation management. Many companies are doing something about the change by using monitoring solutions to keep an eye on what customers are saying about them in online conversations.

Yet, there’s another level to this, beyond mere monitoring: responding in real time to customers’ online conversations about products and services.

Rebecca MacDonald, VP of Marketing at Attensity, stressed this point during a recent ContactCenterSolutions On the Road series video interview with TMC CEO Rich Tehrani, filmed in San Jose.

“Social media has made customer conversations much more immediate, and the volume has gone up,” MacDonald noted. “Instead of a direct interaction with a company, if a customer is unhappy with service or a product, they are going online and talking with their friends about it on Facebook and Twitter, in real time.”

Attensity’s Analyze and Respond solutions let companies not only monitor, but also respond to conversations on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as review sites.

“We help companies take the unstructured data that’s happening out in social media and on internal channels like e-mail, extract insights from it, and then act on those insights,” MacDonald explained.

This is done through text analytics capable of feats like analyzing the entire Twitter “firehose” (fed into the Attensity system as an API) in real time.  

Analyze 6, Attensity’s latest release, includes a feature called ‘hotspotting,’ which identifies trending conversations as they’re happening, tracks “normal” volume, and alerts companies when that volume goes hot or cold.

The Respond solution then provides agents with tools needed to proactively provide customer service via the appropriate channel.

MacDonald said companies today are concerned about both the real-time nature of customer conversations on social media, and about the volume of these conversations. Attensity’s competency with analytic and response technology addresses both those challenges.

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Mae Kowalke is a ContactCenterSolutions contributor. She is Manager of Stories at Neundorfer, Inc., a cleantech company in Northeast Ohio. She has more than 10 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and has a passion for new tech gadgets. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell