How to Measure the Value of Social Media in Your Call Center

Former Virgin Mobile Canada director Valerie Jones, a workshop presenter and panelist at the 6thCall Centre Canada conference, joins CMIQ’s Brian Cantor to reveal her strategy for monetizing social media and overcoming some well-known "costs" and "risks."

Valerie Jones does not want to be viewed as just another marketing person.

Unlike many marketers, who she believes "do not really account for ROI" when crafting social and online customer engagement strategies, Jones, the former chief online officer and director of web marketing for Virgin Mobile Canada, believes successful digital initiatives must be able to demonstrate a measurable impact on the bottom line.

Jones’ focus on ROI, which includes a five-pronged approach to measuring the value of a social media strategy, enables her to speak the dollars-and-cents language of the C-level, all while defending online engagement’s ability to generate true value for the call center.

In some cases, that value comes from establishing relationships with existing and future buyers.

"If you put a value on traffic, clicks, leads, fans, followers, coupon redeemers … you’ll find that ROI [is] much greater. All of these things can be tracked," explains Jones, who specifically identifies Facebook fans as customers who "you’re constantly nurturing."

In others, it means utilizing the power and efficiency of online engagement to replace costly call center interactions.

"In a call center, the return on investment is really about how much money you’re saving," says Jones. "If you can deflect the call online, you’re getting a great ROI because the cost of dealing with a customer online is far, far less."

That is not to say Jones cannot recognize the costs and risks of integrating social media into the contact center mix. She understands (and addresses) the fear that increased online engagement and automation could inhibit the ability to upsell over the phone. She realizes that social media enables improperly-trained reps to convey inaccurate knowledge publicly.

It does, however, assure she properly evaluates the role social media plays in the customer experience. Instead of blindly supporting online engagement because everyone is doing it or blindly dismissing it because it seems too costly, Jones’ value matrix gives her a perspective for assessing a very pivotal question--how will the customer respond to your multi-channel strategy?

"I think the net-net is about making sure you’re dealing with the right customer in the right forum. It’s about qualification," declares Jones.

What is Valerie Jones’ five-step process for evaluating social media ROI? How does Jones respond to the supposed costs and risks of integrating social media with traditional call center communications? Find out in the latest edition of the Customer Management IQ Customer Creation podcast.