Are You Listening? Multi-Channel Customer Interactions Demand a New Approach

February 05, 2013

Multi-channel customer interactions are now the rule, but most companies are not listening, reacting, or tracking everything they should. In Christopher Bucholz’s recent article, “Answer Customers' Calls - Even When the Phone's Not Ringing” in CRM Buyer, it becomes clear that marketers could do a lot more to support channel analytics.

Three quick tips emerge:

  • Handle all customer communication. Most companies have their phones routed and their email inboxes managed, but what about the many other channels that customers may use, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and others? Where they need work is finding interactions in social media and getting help to rapidly react  to a customer blog post or other complaint or comment. Even those in the social analytics business don’t have this nailed yet.
  • Get a social media gatekeeper. There are huge benefits to be gained from connecting the customer or prospect inquiry to the right person. Bucholz recommends appointing a social-media gatekeeper (I prefer the word matchmaker) to find relevant social media conversations and route them to the right person. This matchmaker facilitates two-way conversations. Let their findings feed business analytics. You’ll see where  customers are interacting, what they’re saying, and then  and provide that matchmaker with information about current priorities so they can weigh social media conversations regarding your brand.
  • Map the knowledge. Give the matchmaker the right tools to find the best person in the organization to engage with. The author suggests building a knowledge map that pinpoints areas of organizational expertise and highlights “second string” fallback options if someone’s out to lunch or on vacation.