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Customer Service News
13 Oct 2010

Contact centres turn out to be shy social media users

External service providers twitter more often than in-house customer care agents

Web 2.0 channels call for conversion work at contact centres

Twitter has not yet established itself as a service channel    
Two per cent of contact centre agents use social media communication channels in their customer care work. Special in-house contact centres are reluctant to use new channels, and communication via Twitter or Facebook simply does not take place. External customer care providers are barely more progressive on this count. Five per cent of agents use social media for customer communication. For external contact centres particularly, this means missing out on the opportunity to gain the edge over their competitors as first movers with Web 2.0 communications. These were the findings of a recent survey of contact survey agents conducted for novomind AG.

Contact centres still in the planning stage
The reluctance of contact centres to communicate through social media is often due to their lack of strategy. According to every second decision maker, companies hesitate because they don’t have a properly developed concept. One in five contact centres has not yet even explored the possibility. On top of this, the customer communication managers are currently still investigating the additional investments necessary for the technical integration of the new channels. After all, the software must be capable of running a complete search of numerous forums, blogs and social networks for customer enquiries and comments, and then forwarding them to an appropriate contact centre agent according to the content and tone of the customer feedback.

Workplace management requirements are on the increase
At present, every third contact centre is without the necessary technical requirements for social media communications. In order to be able to provide Web 2.0 customer service, investments in new IT are necessary and that means greater workplace complexity. One in five agents already uses four or more programs today. “If the new software is only bought as an add-on but not integrated into the existing software landscape, efficiency and quality suffer,” says Peter Samuelsen, CEO of novomind. Familiarising staff takes much longer, for example, when they have to learn to use tools from scratch instead of just applying familiar procedures to a new technology. At the same time, frequent switching between even more programs increases the risk of mistakes being made as well as unnecessarily delaying responses to customer enquiries.
Background information   
In June and July 2010, 156 contact centre agents answered questions in computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) conducted on behalf of novomind AG. The survey focused on work in contact centres, including aspects such as work environment, the number of communication channels and software solutions used and impact on the health of the contact centre agents.

“Erfolgreiches Callcenter 2010” event on 9 November 
This coming 9 November, the interactive event “Erfolgreiches Callcenter 2010” (Successful Call Centre) will be taking place at Congresspark in Hanau. The event aims to bring management staff together for an intensive discussion about the future of the call centre. Come along and meet the e-communication experts from novomind.

novomind AG
Since 1999, Hamburg company novomind has been developing innovative e-business solutions for the modern Internet world in four e-business disciplines: e-commerce (e-shops and zoom server), ePDM (electronic product management), e-marketplace (marketplace integration) and e-communication (solutions for contact and service centres).

novomind is a European technology leader in every service segment and covers the whole digital value-adding chain in retail and electronic customer communication.

The Hamburg-based software house is the fastest growing company in the fields of electronic customer communication and mail management (e-communications). With the two product lines novomind iAGENT and novomind Self Service Suite, businesses now have the opportunity to integrate all of their communication channels into one system.

novomind AG is currently assisting more than 80 companies including Targobank, Der Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ernsting’s family, EnBW, gebrüder götz, OTTO and QVC.