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Altitude Software Opening Doors with Social

Last week Portugal-based Altitude Software announced the availability of social media customer service features for its flagship contact center solution, uCI8. Wanting to know more about what exactly the company was doing to process social media interactions through the contact center, and how customers were reacting to the availability of the social media features, I spoke to Teresa Botelho Jos&eacute, Product Marketing Manager for Altitude.

Botelho was able to report that two customers have already deployed and are routing social media interactions through the Altitude uCI8 platform. Neither is ready to be a public reference but one is described as a "big BPO [business process outsourcer]," using the social capability to support a major Asian telco. The outsourcer was providing multimedia routing (e.g., voice, email, web requests) for the telco, and now Altitude uCI routes notifications generated from Facebook and Twitter to agents as well. The second customer is described as a major South American bank.

There are two ways that social interactions can be sent to the Altitude software for agent processing. The first is by accepting interactions from third-party monitoring or listening software. One example is Radian6 (purchased by Botelho reports that some customers, especially those trialing social media, might also use "free" software tools for categorizing social interactions, and Altitude can use Web or REST APIs to accept and route these interactions as well.

The second method for selecting interactions for agent handling is to use standard Altitude routing scripts. Typical steps include:

* Identifying the possible target campaigns based on the interaction type, e.g., Twitter versus Facebook.
* Where appropriate and possible, delivering the interaction to the same agent and campaign where the last message was handled if it is a follow-up interaction of a previously related interaction.
* Applying keyword matching on the notification message to identify the target campaign, if no last agent is found.
* If classification is not possible, deliver the interaction to a default campaign. Afterwards, the agents can re-direct the interaction to a new target campaign (for a specific agent or any agent) according to the manual analysis of the interaction.

A standard feature of the Altitude uAgent is a Knowledge Base, which offers standard answers to questions and other information to assist agents in responding to social queries. Botelho emphasizes that this same Knowledge Base is accessible for all interaction channels, helping provide consistency to the information provided to customers across channels.

One of the key verticals in Altitude's customer base is outsourcers. Botelho says that several of these customers have gotten trained and have a few agents taking social media interactions so that they can market the capability to their clientele.

Like other vendors who have solutions for routing social media to the contact center, Botelho says that lots of customers are interested in have a conversation about social media, but few are ready to pull the trigger and deploy. However, during the course of our conversation, Botelho mentioned that the social media capabilities had been a "foot in the door" with an account, allowing Altitude to tell its story of an integrated multimedia channel contact center solution. And as has been the case, win a new customer.