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Social media a business booster

Companies failing to use social media to reach customers and employees do so at their own peril.

So says Fred Maurus, Nashua Communications director of technology management, who adds that businesses should not underestimate the importance of social networking as a way to improve business productivity and customer interaction.

“Our research shows that customers are increasingly demanding that business talk to them in the communications platform of their choosing, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, blogging, or the latest social networking tool.

“Overlooking social networking tools for business communications will result in lost opportunities to improve customer collaboration and employee productivity.”

According to Maurus, the integration of social media and unified communications into contact centre processes can improve average call time, first-contact resolution rates and customer loyalty.

“Social media is changing the way businesses, customers and employees interact, and it is this change that creates significant opportunities for contact centres and the enterprise as a whole to leverage the integration of these tools into business processes,” says Maurus.

He explains that tools such as blogs, corporate Wikis, presence awareness and chat groups, improve team collaboration. “The younger generation in particular, are adopting social networking technologies. Businesses realise that they can reach a mass audience rapidly.”

He adds it's not a one-size-fits-all approach and businesses need to devise a social media strategy.

Nashua Communications' partner Siemens Enterprise Communications and research analyst firm Yankee Group, say that 70% of consumers want access to company experts and support through social media channels, and trust company information provided to them through their social networks.

This study reveals that average customer satisfaction with business interactions though social media is 65%. According to Nashua, one-third of businesses have no formal social networking policies, do not allow the use of social media at work or are not aware of their company's participation in social networking.

Nashua Communications' play in social media capabilities is through an offering called OpenScape Fusion Social Media Integrations.

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