Wokingham Borough Council Advocates Twitter in the Contact Center for Real Time Response to Customers' Inquiries
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Speaking at the IQPC Call Centre Europe conference today in London, Sarah Barrow, Head of Customer Services & Administration at Wokingham Borough Council, outlined the role Twitter is now playing in connecting the Council to its residents. She also addressed how cloud technology continues to support the Council's SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) working strategy. Wokingham Borough Council’s customer service centre serves 160,000 local residents in the County of Berkshire, UK.
"Modernization is not just about using new technology," says Barrow, Head of Customer Services & Administration at Wokingham Borough Council, at the conference. "It's also about a culture shift in how an organization functions and individuals contribute to success. For example, organizations need to mirror the way customers work and interact. Today that translates to organizations interacting with their customers on social channels. Social media is a great tool to help you get close to the customer and get a temperature check of what they think."
The Council's contact centre staff is using the cloud-based LiveOps Platform with LiveOps Social to monitor and respond to residents' comments and questions on Twitter, email, SMS, and chat. The value of connecting social channels like Twitter through the platform is that agents have the option to pivot customer conversations away from the public Twitter environment to more private communication channels such as chat, SMS, or email to resolve complaints discretely. Then the agent can 'close the loop' back in the public sphere on Twitter with the generally more satisfied resident. This approach limits the reputation damage that complaints via Twitter can have and reduces the risks of a negative PR 'firestorm'.
@WokinghamDirect, the Council's Twitter account has most recently been responding to questions and comments about the implementation of changes to waste collection. Being a real-time communications channel, Wokingham received substantial accolades on Twitter for engaging via social media and proactively managing issues in a timely manner. Real examples of positive Council customer Twitter responses are:
- "I'd just like to say I'm really impressed with how active you are at managing & responding on this twitter acc. Good to see!"
- "And actually you've been doing a sterling job all day, answering questions and concerns."
The use of Twitter extends the Council's successful use of the LiveOps Platform to power service improvements. In 2011, the Council earned 'best email performer' status in the prestigious Top 50 awards for its ability to effectively manage and respond to customer inquiries on email.
The cloud-based LiveOps' technology also encourages home working which supports the Council's SMART initiative. Since 2009, the Council's SMART initiative has enabled it to sustain an ongoing commitment to effective customer service, as well as save 50 percent in office space. Eighty-two percent of the Workingham workforce says they are more productive at home, and sickness and absenteeism are down in the SMART working teams.
LiveOps is the global leader in cloud contact center and customer service solutions. More than 300 companies around the world, including Salesforce.com, Symantec, Royal Mail Group, and Amway New Zealand trust LiveOps' technology to enable effective multichannel, social and mobile interactions with their customers. LiveOps' award-winning platform has processed more than 1 Billion minutes of customer interactions and managed operations for the largest US-based cloud contact center of 20,000 home-based, independent agents. With 10+ years of cloud experience LiveOps is the partner of choice for companies wanting to migrate to the cloud. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, LiveOps supports a wide range of industries including financial, health care, insurance, retail, and high tech. For more information visit www.LiveOps.com.
Marta Weissenborn, McGrath/Power Public Relations for LiveOps
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