The Tipping Point and your Contact Center

Back in the year 2000, Malcolm Gladwell published his landmark book called The Tipping Point. And little did he know 9 years later he would have set the stage for how many Contact Centers handle Social Media?

Let me explain …

Many of the most Socially advanced Contact Centers today are using tools to listen in on Conversations. Conversations that are happening about their brand, conversations that are happening about their competition, and of course conversations that revolve around Customer Support! Customer Support makes for an easy anchor of any good Social Media strategy so it stands to reason that Customer Support would play a leading role when it comes to listening in on Conversations.

But today’s listening and analytical technology for social conversations are still in their infancy. So many Contact Center managers find themselves using their listening tools to find Support opportunities and then manually “cutting and pasting” them into email to send to the agent that can best handle the inquiry.

In his book, Gladwell describes “agents of change” like the Connectors who are the people who “link us up with the world”. He characterizes these individuals as having social networks of over one hundred people. And the Mavens who are “information specialists”, or “people we rely upon to connect us with new information.” They accumulate knowledge, especially about the marketplace, and know how to share it with others.

So in effect the Contact Center Manager acts as the Social Agent of Change, more specifically in the role as the “Connector” linking up the worlds social requests to the best qualified Agent who then plays the role of the “Maven” or information specialist.

While this is a great role for the Contact Center to play it has 2 distinct pitfalls. First is this approach while admirable is just not scaleable. Too much manual intervention and we need to evolve the analytical tools take the place of the “Connector” role. Second we are going to need to get to a place where all this is trackable and measurable rather than unstructured workloads.

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