RANTING on Facebook or Twitter about a product or service might lead to the provider getting in touch with you to solve the problem.
Avaya, a firm that flogs high-end voice-over-IP (VoIP) gear for big businesses, recently launched a social networking module for its call-centre VoIP product. While the call centre software in itself is pretty boring stuff, the firm told The INQUIRER that the module means big companies can track what is being said on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and can proactively try to solve problems.
Natalie Keightley, Avaya's Contact Centre product marketing lead told The INQUIRER that the firm's Social Media Manager can track publicly available data on Facebook and Twitter, do keyword analysis and generate a relevancy score. Depending on the thresholds applied, the post can be sent to the attention of relevant company employees. This, according to Keightley, gives companies "a better understanding of what is happening on social networks".
Avaya's system can provide companies with further data once a post has been declared worthy of follow-up, including finding out whether there has been any previous contact between, for instance, the Twitter handle and the company.
Keightley said that the system currently works through Facebook and Twitter APIs but that any data that is available through RSS feeds can be scanned. The point of all this, Keightley said, was to ensure that companies can mitigate the negative effects of a runaway social media campaign against a product or service.
It's an interesting take on analysing social network posts. While most of the time companies will be scouring Facebook and Twitter to generate advertising, they are also aware that angry punters blowing off steam on social networks could seriously damage their online reputations.
So, if you're unhappy about the way you've been treated by a company, then going off on one might well be the best way to get your money back or have a defective piece of kit repaired. µ