Handling “Contact Us”

Today I found an interesting question in quora.com:

How do large and small networks handle the influx of “Contact Us” messages? Are there volunteers that screen and answer complaints and questions? Or is there an online “call” center that handles such traffic? Is this outsourced? And what’s the best strategy for a small network to adopt, can it be handled on a shoestring budget?

When we think about this, it is not specific to Social Networks, or any kinds of companies, and applies to everyone, only the number of “Contact us” emails may differ from website to website. Hence, I took it as a generic CRM Service Management / Email Response / Social Media / Brand Building Problem and wrote an answer like this:

This differs for each social network (or for that matter each company / website). I have read that amazon.com handled (or handles) this in a really rapid manner (Have a team of individuals answering 10+ Emails in a minute!), I still wonder how they can get some good answer in 6 seconds or so!

Trick may be, using a large template database, Because the questions being asked are very repetitive and you can form categories easily. As long as you can judge which one this current question falls under quickly, all you need to do is copy paste. As your support staff become more and more experienced, this can be done in 6 seconds are less!

To answer your specific question, if you want to provide a machine like support, a shoe string budget operation may work. If you want to provide personalized attention, need a larger and more commited team, whether that makes business sense or not is a different story altogether πŸ™‚

On a related note, CRM systems handle this “Contact Us” Problem in multiple ways, to suit multiple channels (Emails, Web Form, Chat, Phone (Audio Call), Social Networks etc.,). We have deployed end to end solutions to handle these, and automatically convert them to CRM Records (Leads or Service Requests or any other object), so that they can be handled effectively.

My take on this will be, automate as much as possible, Handle the rest by manual team members to provide the best possible experience. Good luck!

Do you agree? What will be your strategy to handle this? How do you think the biggies are handling it? Share your thoughts in : http://www.quora.com/How-do-social-networks-handle-Contact-Us

– Naga Chokkanathan, CRMIT

 

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