Sparkcentral's new CRM release uses topic routing for better social engagement

Sparkcentral aims to eliminate automated social media fails by bringing real time social into the contact centre for better customer service and engagement.

San Francisco based Sparkcentral has released a new edition of its real-time customer engagement platform. This platform features stronger automation, flexible workflow and integrated workforce management for social in the enterprise contact center.

Sparkcentral's new CRM release uses topic routing for better social engagement ZDNet

The company wanted to address an unanticipated consequence of social customer service -- namely, that in many companies, social conversations exist on an island separate from the contact center. It felt that it was time for efforts to be coordinated.

Customer support organizations are becoming more reliant on social interactions and need fast, accurate and thorough replies to each individual, regardless of channel.

But so many organisations ignore social as a key customer interaction channel.

If you search through Twitter, you will find several examples of brands responding to customer tweets such as "You shipped my pants to the wrong address" with the automated message: "Thank you for your kudos, we appreciate you using our brand!"

In the rush to embrace social customer service, a lot of companies forget to cross their t's and dot their i's. They reason that simply being on social and responding quickly is enough -- but now the gaps are becoming obvious.

The company aims to unify social, mobile, cloud and contextual data to deliver "personalized and engaging customer experiences".

Social customer service has forked from the rest of the contact center, and has become one of many siloes in the the organisation. Workflows do not include proper social channel support, which leads to fragmentation between teams and a lack of support optimization across channels.

Today, a lot of enterprises find themselves with a social customer service organization that does not sit well or synchronise with the contact center. This can lead to fragmented workflows and glaring holes in the customer support process.

Sparkcentral aims to solve the problem by merging customer social activities with the contact center. Automated intelligence selects which topics to route to which customer service representative, so that each contact is complete.

Records of social conversations and threads detailing email conversations and phone support calls remain as one unit. Automated intelligence determines conversational topics and directs customer profiles and conversations to agent groups in real time.

A useful feature in this release is the automated topic-based team routing which automatically routes the entire customer conversation to the right team members based on the topic.

It also provides workforce management integrations for social in the contact center which enables large teams to support large volumes of customer support messaging.

The spring '15 edition is available to the company's entire customer portfolio, including enterprise brands whose teams currently harness the service. The edition will be completely live by March 31st, 2015.

"This Sparkcentral Spring '15 release matches each social customer with the representative that can serve them best," said Sparkcentral CEO Davy Kestens.

"Tweets, chats and Facebook social interfaces work seamlessly with the support organization, giving each rep a big-picture view of their customer's situation, and enabling managers to refine their forecasting and scheduling. It's a crucial step towards establishing a true social customer engagement CRM."

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