Cloud News & Insights

Customer Interaction, Social Media, and the Cloud

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One of the ideals of information technology is to improve our daily lives in as many ways as possible. And in recent years, the internet has become an essential part of how we live. Cloud computing and social media have started to develop too, encompassing all kinds of industries and markets. Customer service and contact is an important area in which companies can expect these developments to bring immediate benefits.

Cloud-based interactions and social networks can allow businesses to have unprecedented levels of contact with their customers. Companies should start looking beyond simply developing an app to interact with customers. Instead they should look for holistic solutions that allow them to integrate social media and cloud-based communications with existing databases and customer service avenues to deliver high quality customer care to their clients. This is possible because of the high availability functionality of cloud.

What new IT has to offer

Cloud service providers can use the allure of improved customer service to give companies a reason to purchase these services. For a long time, personal customer attention has been one of the weaknesses of larger corporations and the biggest selling point for their smaller competitors. Integrating cloud technology and social media into customer contact allows larger companies to have personalized interactions with their clients and also gives them the ability to cater to markets that would previously have been considered too much of a niche to be worth the trouble.

Many companies are in the process of developing integrated platforms that include all of these communications platforms in a single SaaS offering. From new acquisition to debt collection, this allows companies to have a better interaction with their customers that is easier to use, less expensive to maintain, and more effective for everyone involved.

The power of social networking in customer contact

Today, many companies are realizing the power of social networking in the field of customer care. Social media allows companies to use Facebook, Twitter, and email to integrate customer relations with their own departments automatically. Keywords, ratings, and various analytic tools can then be used to gauge performance and decide on the proper response for a customer request. These tools allow companies to immediately connect customers to the agent or representative most able to help them quickly and effectively. The power of these tools becomes immediately apparent when integrated with other technologies such as VoIP applications and apps specifically designed to help manage customer interactions and departmental productivity.

This is especially relevant in Asia

While these technologies bring substantial gains to businesses all around the world, in few places are the advantages as readily apparent as in the Asia-Pacific market. That’s is because in this market, there are two factors that greatly contribute to cloud-based communications and social media in customer interactions. First, these areas show a remarkably high use of mobile devices. In areas like Japan and South Korea there is a very high use of smartphones and advanced mobile technology, and in emerging economies like Indonesia and the Philippines, many people opt for smartphones over desktop computers to connect to the internet.

Because of this, it is highly likely that customer interaction will occur over a mobile device, necessitating cloud-based apps and a strong social media presence. A second factor is increasing broadband speeds and improving technology in the region. As more of the population becomes connected, customer service is increasingly taking place on social networks rather than in person or through call centers. The experience is simply more pleasant and productive for everyone involved.

Social media as a customer service platform is almost ideal. Gone are the days of having to stay on hold for hours waiting to speak to a representative, only to be sent to the wrong department repeatedly. Customer interactions through these technologies are so effective that many individuals actively seek out companies to post their opinions or ask for help without the need for prompting. These technologies have effectively allowed larger companies to reach a wider client base while maintaining all the advantages of a smaller operation with individualized service and personal customer care.

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About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

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