While there is no doubt that social media is an effective vehicle for a brand’s marketing activities, the past one year has seen it becoming a great customer service channel as well.
A lot of brands are realizing that on social media even an innocuous complaint can snowball into a crisis, leading all these brands to allocate dedicated resources to address complaints and queries in the social world.
But this comes up with its own set of technological challenges. The digital space is filled with so much data and so many conversations that it becomes difficult for a brand to find and address the query which is relevant and important to them.
Your customer support team will need a robust tool to mine and address the relevant queries amidst all the random chatter on social media. However, there are very few tools that are capable of performing this job satisfactorily.
Aspect Social, however, does not belong to that category and is one tool that you should keep in mind.
Created by Aspect, a global leader in customer engagement solutions that provides interaction management, workforce optimization and back-office solutions for top brands in aviation, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and retail, Aspect Unified IP’s social media software is tuned to the needs of the contact center. It aims to ensure that customers receive consistent, informed responses to their questions posed in the social space – thus improving your response time, resolution rate and leading to happier customers.
But does it really accomplish what it claims to do? I took a detailed look at it and through this tool review, I will throw some light on how the tool functions and how it can be of help to brands.
Since Aspect’s expertise stems from offline customer support, the dashboard of Aspect Social is modeled in the same way.
It is clear, concise and easy to navigate.The tool is built for 4 key people in the customer support chain:
All 4 of them have different dashboards that enable them to accomplish their tasks in an easy and effortless manner.
The dashboard for Agents has 3 panes. The one on the left contains all the queries and complaints assigned to them. The agents can navigate through all the complaints listed here and click on the one they need to address.
The complaint then expands into the middle pane where they can view the entire conversation thread of past conversations, if any, following which the agent can respond from here itself. This pane also links to a knowledge base of answers for quick access to FAQs.
The right pane is one of the most crucial elements here. It includes all the social profiles of the customer and access to any communication in the past, giving the agent information by which to understand the customer better.
The Supervisor dashboard is focused towards monitoring the performance of agents. The dashboard allows the Supervisor to navigate effortlessly through the performance summary of every agent in his/her team and study how efficient the agent is.
The supervisor can monitor the posts/responses by each agent to the queries assigned to them. The supervisor can also check how efficient the agent in concern is by looking at his/her following stats:
- Complaints closed per hour
- Queries responded to per hour
- Flush Rate (No. of irrelevant posts deleted)
- Average response time
- Backlog of queries
To make it more easier, the tool lets supervisors download charts for these metrics; thus helping them analyze better.
Compared to the dashboard for agents and supervisors, the Manager dashboard is macroscopic in nature. It gives the manager a clear picture of how the entire customer support team is functioning.
The interface makes it easier for the managers to view the current health of the support channel through appropriate color coding.
To be checked once a week or may be twice a month, this dashboard will keep the manager updated on everything.
The publisher account has its own dashboard which can be used by both customer support as well as the marketing team. Through this interface, broadcast messages can be shared on the brand’s social media profiles for its community to see.
You can manage several accounts spread across several social networks here and also measure the success of your published updates.
Using Aspect Social, you can filter the web (Public data from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, 3rd party blogs and RSS feeds etc.) for queries based on several aspects. If you are a bank and offer several services, you can easily filter queries for each unique service. On one hand, it will avoid confusion; and on the other, it will help you resolve the queries at the earliest.
You can also filter queries based on the keywords used, the tags attached to it, the sentiment of the query, its priority as well as the content (whether its a question or a complaint).
Intelligent Customer Service Queuing
Once a query from a specific consumer is assigned to an agent, all the future queries from that consumer is automatically assigned to the said agent. This is actually a masterstroke since the agent in concern already knows the customer and the history.
Moreover, this ensures that the voice responding to the consumer is always uniform.
Quicker Response Rate
An easier access to the knowledge base helps the agents to respond to the usual queries much quicker. The tool also helps agents with template responses for specific cases which see a good number of queries regularly.
This is hands-down the best feature of Aspect Social. When you have all the public details of your customer at your fingertips, you have all the ways to make the customer happy.
The information required for this does not need any digging on the agent’s part. As soon as a query comes to the agent, he/she can view all the social media profiles of the customer in concern. This will help the agent get a good idea about the customer and word his/her response accordingly, and even personalizing it.
Aspect Social stores all the conversation between an agent and a customer which can be fetched any time when required.
This feature allows agents to have a look at the customer’s previous complaints and act accordingly; but its real value comes up when the agent comes across a customer who’s constantly facing the same issue over a period of time. The conversation history, in this case, will enable the agent to escalate the issue to a quicker redressal of a persistent problem.
The tool also allows merging multiple conversations of a customer with several agents, thus giving all of them a uniform view and better context to resolve the issue at hand.
The tool allows the supervisor to monitor even the minutest of the details about the performance of a particular agent.
The supervisor can view how the agent is responding, how quickly he/she is able to resolve a complaint, what their average response rate is etc.
This level of performance monitoring will help the supervisor point out inefficient agents in the team and take necessary remedial actions.
The tool also helps supervisors download this data in the form of reports, which is an added benefit!
Scope of Improvement
I wish Aspect Social had an internal social network functionality for effective communication between the team members. Resolving customer issues requires a lot of to and fro communication, and I believe having such a functionality can definitely help them.
Also, a small feature of rewarding the agents for their performance within the dashboard can help them stay motivated. May be a star saying “Agent of The Month” on the agent’s dashboard?
Who Should Use Aspect Social?
Aspect is not for everyone. If you hardly see more than 10-20 queries and complaints a month, you should opt for a different tool.
Aspect Social is meant purely for big brands with a big customer support team handling tons of queries and complaints every month. Following are some niches that can make use of Aspect Social:
- Banks (A Must!)
- Ecommerce (A Must!)
- White Goods
- Telecom (A Must!)
- ISPs and DTH service providers (A Must!)
- Mobile devices
To conclude my review of Aspect Social, I would recommend brands to give it a try. I see it holding immense potential for brands who want to seriously improve upon their current customer support on social media channels.
As more and more people join the social media bandwagon, your customer service woes will only increase. It will be wise to have the support of such an effective tool.