The Link Between Social Media and UC

Social media is exploding in importance as a way to improve the relationship between a company and its customers, employees, vendors and partners. Integrating these tools  – which can run on UC platforms – is not easy. 

By Carl Weinschenk | Posted Jan 12, 2011
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The link between “traditional” unified communications and social media is deep, though the lines between the two are fuzzy. In any case, the goal – enabling companies to communicate internally and with outsiders more fluidly and effectively – is the same.

At NewsFactor, Jennifer LeClaire points to a Yankee Group study that clearly points out customers' desire for the companies with which they deal to take advantage of social media:

The study found that 80 percent of survey respondents believe businesses should review social-media sites to see what people are saying about them. Another 70 percent of consumers want to be able to leverage social media to see real-time availability of company experts in technical support, billing and other departments. And 58 percent of consumers say regular communication with a business via social-networking sites improves their loyalty to that business.

Contact centers must focus on using social media efficiently. If they do, they will get customers to the right expert faster, zero in on issues and problems more efficiently, and generally keep them in the loop, writes LeClaire. That all adds to customer satisfaction. She follows with a look at some of the things that Avaya is doing with the Aura Contact Center.

Nancy Jamison acknowledges the role of social media in improving customer satisfaction, though she says in a UC Strategies post that it is important not to discount other sources of data that can lead to better relationships:

Whereas we believe that social media's inclusion into an overall strategy is beginning to be and will be an important aspect of customer contact, we shouldn't underestimate the power of the analytics of existing data and real-time contact center data.

It's not easy, however. The reality is that social media is an extraordinarily broad and complex topic. There is no denying, however, that social media and unified communications are inexorably linked.

It is important to note that much of this work will be done on UC platforms. Shashi Bellamkonda, director of Social Media for Network Solutions, provides guidance in this piece at Small Business Trends on how to implement social networking effectively. There are several steps: identify goals, agree on key performance indicators, choose the social media that will be used, and track and report results. Bellamkonda points out the importance of a willingness to change as conditions dictate.

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