The Rise of the Social Media Representative (SMR)

The Rise of the Social Media Representative (SMR)

As the first quarter in 2016 comes to a close, the expectation for most B2C and some B2B firms is to not only have a social media presence, but to engage in conversations with customers through this channel. After all, the worldwide number of people on Facebook alone is simply staggering.

Figure 1: Number of Monthly Facebook Users Worldwide

Facebook usage


I’ve had the opportunity through client work to see how a number of organizations are creating and evolving their Social Media Representative (SMR) role. An employee that is dedicated to managing, tracking, and responding to onstage inquiries needs to have a very different skill set than your traditional Customer Service Representative (CSR). Social Care presents unique opportunities for marketing and problem resolution. In order to respond effectively to a marketing opportunity, an SMR needs to work closely with the marketing department. In order to be effective at problem resolution, an SMR needs access to the same systems as a CSR. Here are some other considerations when building out your Social Care solution:

  1. If your SMR is only empowered to direct onstage inquiries to an offstage channel like a phone call to the contact center, not only are you causing the customer to contact your organization twice, but you have one employee serving as a funnel.
  2. An SMR will require a different pay scale than a CSR because the skillset of replying publicly, in writing, is a bit more advanced than speaking on the phone. Having the SMR on the contact center P&L creates a natural career progression for a CSR to move into the role of an SMR, provided the necessary skills are trained and developed.
  3. As mentioned before, your SMR needs access to the same systems and tools as your CSR to do even the most basic of troubleshooting and contact history tracking else your SMR is ineffectual.
  4. Defining a priority matrix for your SMR will be critical given the deluge of self-proclaimed critics these days. Of highest priority should be dissatisfied customers, confused customers, account related questions, and public relations issues.
  5. Creating an efficient work flow from the SMR to Marketing and the CSR (if necessary) allows escalation and identification of possible public relations issues before they become a crisis.

Starting your social care plan today will allow you to get to know your customer much better, but you need to be prepared. Increased revenue, increased client satisfaction, and a more efficient marketing dollar spend are your possible results. A good plan today is better than a great plan tomorrow so if you have not started the integration of social media channels into your contact center, let’s get started together.

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