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Proactive Social Media Engagement: Best Practices from Startek & Aegis

Consumers are evolving their preferred ways of interacting on social media: ‘spontaneous’ stories are replacing produced content, transparency and privacy are driving the spread of private groups and influencing regulatory push, and machine learning is personalizing conversational commerce. The impact on brands is greater need for new types of content, investments in automation and analytics, and creation of quality engagement through communities and micro-influencers.

This is where CX services providers target their proprietary monitoring and analytics platforms, their experience in setting up command centers, and capabilities in building cognitive bots. In this blog, I look at Startek & Aegis’ initiatives in this space.

Orchestrating social media engagement

Startek & Aegis both began supporting omnichannel and social media engagements in the late 2000s. While the Startek side of the business was tool-agnostic using a variety of engagement platforms such as Spreadfast, Lithium, Salesforce Social Studio, and Sprinklr, Aegis identified an opportunity for a specialized customer care social media platform and launched a proprietary engagement suite called AegisLISA.

AegisLISA is a modular platform with different product sets for social media listening and monitoring, chat and email functionalities, campaign management and publishing, analytics and insights with data visualization, combined with knowledge base functionality and app development.

Over the last eighteen months (and more recently following the 2018 merger between the companies), Startek & Aegis have invested in the platform to:

  • Grow new LISA social touchpoints from additional social media sites, blogs, forums, news
  • Integrate social chats and mobile
  • Provide publishing for campaign content
  • Enhance data visualization for community management
  • Add chatbot integration.

One of the more actively utilized LISA features is the ratings and review module, where Startek & Aegis pulls information and prioritizes reviews from sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Trustpilot, and responds directly to monitor and preserve clients’ brand reputation. For example, for a warehouse club in the U.S., the company is monitoring their Apple iOS store reviews and Google Play store reviews, taking over from internal IT teams.

Using CX services providers for social media support

The most common path for Startek & Aegis’ social media programs starts with a listening and monitoring stage. Once it triages the posts and provides analytical feedback, the client requests the vendor to step in with customer care in-channel. Startek & Aegis supports the client’s customer service teams, marketing functions, and social and PR agencies of record, providing direct interactions with customers in real-time. This intervention eliminates additional tasks to the customer care teams and allows marketing and digital agencies to focus on producing content.

For experienced CX services buyers, ranging from retail, telecom, consumer electronics, and automotive sectors, their minimum supplier requirements are to support digital and automation initiatives. This shift requires engagement with the wider client organization and social media supplier ecosystem; for example, for a U.S. automotive company, the company interacts on a weekly basis with the CMO office.

More recently, the company is seeing increased demand for social community management, responding to proactive campaigns on social media such as hashtag campaigns and helping with brand promotion. For the automotive client which curates its content to a specific customer profile, Startek & Aegis finds automotive hashtags which are brand-aligned but not official company tags, and proactively engages with the users. 

Augmenting omnichannel self-service

Startek & Aegis is seeing increasing client demand for enhancing omnichannel self-service, including over social media. The company usually starts an evaluation looking at inbound voice and digital volumes and breaking them into categories. It then works with its Ideal Dialog subsidiary, which specializes in research for contact optimization, to understand what can be made conversational from an automated perspective.

For clients with existing social media infrastructure who have started implementing bots in their social channels, Startek & Aegis performs a gap assessment and, for example, proposes additional automation. If the client is at the beginning of their digital automation journey, the company will scope out and develop the bot to integrate with LISA. For example, in the retail and e-commerce sectors, simple automation includes store hours and directions over IVR, chat, and web, with more advanced RPA and machine learning to automate order entries, order tracking, and afterhour responses. For example, for a U.S. consumer electronics client for which Startek & Aegis manages all social media including 50 blogs and forums, it is currently building self-service automation for the most commonly asked questions for the e-commerce RMA process. The bot will operate on email and social media channels and will authenticate the customer and provide real-time account status.

In another example, for an Indian bank, the company deployed an integrated social and mobile cloud-based system to enhance CX across omnichannel, introduced LISA, and optimized operations through silo remediation, function collaboration, and leveraging analytics-as-a-service. As a result, the bank’s digital and social presence organically improved to ~30k followers in one year, digital customer resolution improved to 90%, and the bank was able to reach 200-300k unique customers every month only through its digitization strategy.

Evolving Startek & Aegis’ social media offerings

Startek & Aegis is currently looking to leverage LISA across its client base, expanding on its work in the telecom and automotive sectors and in the APAC region, to take it to the U.S. market with retail, consumer electronics, and digital economy brands. One tactic it employs is dedicated innovation sessions organized with the client as an opportunity to look from a strategic viewpoint at the customer engagement roadmap and digital initiatives.

In its LISA product development, the company is integrating additional social messenger apps which are geo-specific; expanding its reputation management services with a focus on review sites; and developing chatbot capabilities using Ideal Dialogue research to make bots more natural and dynamic, and more able to closely replicate human conversation.

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