Category: Q & A

Social Media Q & A posted some interesting questions regarding usage of Social Media in today’s enterprises. I have tried to address them based on our experience in handling Social Media / Social CRM Projects. Please share your thoughts too:

What companies are using social media internally?

Almost all companies need to adopt this sooner or later. But as the first wave, B2C companies seem to be doing this more than their B2B counterparts, If you want to drilldown further, FMCG companies, Telecom, Media, Banks followed by Retail is my order.

How are they using social media with their employees? And how is it helping?

This is still a ‘guess’, but it is very clear that your Social Media strategy *should* include an internal collaboration strategy too, Because it gives you immediate visibility and ROI, before even you attempt at speaking to people external to you.

I feel the value add is in the areas of searching for past experiences and finding the right resources to close a new business or a client problem faster. Other aspects could be knowledge sharing, Groups etc.,

Do employees get more work done when they can utilize social media tools? Why or why not?

People argue both ways. One school of thought says that Social Media tools improve productivity, while others feel it is a distraction. As of now many companies are keeping them separate (Social Media Team) until it becomes clear what is effective and why

If you ask my personal opinion, I am from the “Yes, Social Media Tools help me **work** better” group. But that is only because I am confident about my discipline and ability to make best use of it, Can’t say the same about everybody else, even my closest colleagues πŸ™‚

Will younger workers want to work at an organization that doesn’t embrace real-time, collaborative tools?

A big fat No πŸ™‚ They may still work, but the *want* part will certainly be missing. For the web 2.0 generation, social tools are a way of life, not an optional thingy

– Naga Chokkanathan, Director (Innovation), CRMIT

(Originally written at :Β

Visual Navigation Of Customer Support Calls

Today I noticed an interesting question in Quora ( about Visual Navigation of Customer Support Calls

How long will it be until I can navigate automated customer service calls visually?
My phone has a screen on it. I don’t want to listen carefully to your menu options, even if they have recently changed.

Very interesting scenario. I responded with an answer like this. What are your thoughts?

Ah, super practical question, Why not?

But technically, I think there are HUGE challenges, Even with sophisticated Computer Telephony Integrations in place, Voice based calls and kept separate from data transfer, hence using a smart phone to handle both voice and data (choices for you to choose from) is difficult, at least as of today.

So, the immediate options seem to be:

1. Pure voice (Current system which you described)
2. Pure data (Use a Website / PC to log your tickets)
3. Voice and data (iPhone / Android / Blackberry app where calls can be made and menu options can be ‘download’ed on the fly so that you can choose from there, instead of listening, use Voice only for talking, not for hearing / choosing)

Future option:

Make a voice call : get the menu options as a data back to your phone : Dynamic display : Choose : Speak / Act

On second thoughts, there are few phone apps which do this already, isn’t it? For example, the app used to query for balance in a prepaid account? If Phone companies can extend it to call centers too, it will be a good start!

Once the telephony system is there to support this, CRM systems can provide a much better navigation for phone users, depending on which device they are using

Naga Chokkanathan, Director (Innovation), CRMIT

Handling “Contact Us”

Today I found an interesting question in

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 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 :

– Naga Chokkanathan, CRMIT