The biggest challenge to embracing Social Media in the contact center

Over this past year, I’ve presented to a variety of audiences in a variety of countries on how they can bring social media in the contact center. In each of those presentations, I’ve asked the question, "How many of you have a Facebook page or a Twitter handle?" Typically, the majority of the hands go up.

However, when I ask them, "How many of you with your hand raised are being blocked from those sites by your IT department at work?" Most all hands stay up. I found it fascinating that those same people who are currently using social media are being blocked from allowing customers to reach them through those same social networks.

That totally amazed me. And it has been true no matter where I’ve been. The reason? Most of them site security and productivity as the two reasons why IT continues to block social sites at work.

Yesterday, Joe Staples, our CMO, gave a presentation at the Credit Union Water Cooler Symposium where he talked about using Social Media to improve member services. During the event, one of the attendees tweeted:

#cuwcs The use, or lack of use, of social media in CUs is often a indicator of that CU’s culture. So many CUs block those sites…

Last week, I conducted a webinar about embracing social media in the contact center. Those in attendance were mostly contact centers who were interested in deploying social media. During the presentation, I asked them, "Does your company currently allow employees to access social media while at work?"

As you can tell from the graph, half of them already allowed their employees to access social media. However, the other half didn’t and almost 30% were not going to.

To be honest, I was surprised by the number of companies on the webinar who already opened up the social media door. In past webinars, that number has always been much lower.

Perhaps my results were skewed by those participating on the webinar. Or maybe this means that the trend is starting to go the other way.  Regardless, I still believe that we have a long way to go before there is wide-spread adoption from within IT departments. But I’d like to get your thoughts.

Take the poll
I’ve created a poll asking you the same question I’ve been asking my audiences –  are able to access social media in your company or not? My guess is that the results will show that you, like most, are being blocked from Twitter and Facebook for the same reasons as I’ve sited above. Just click on the graphic at the right and it will take you to the poll where you can vote and see the results so far.

Tim Passios