Social media plays a major role in customer service
Social media is full of valuable information about customer experiences that can help governments tailor services to the needs of citizens and add value to the way they deliver services.
But with so many social media channels it becomes difficult and time consuming for organisations to monitor customer feedback. Social media managers can often encounter significant volumes of social media chatter which they have to sift through as part of their rapidly-growing remit.
Working with the Department of Human Services, we developed a platform that would allow its communications team to answer queries, combat potentially misleading rumours, and track trends in key human services topics – all without significant manual labour, privacy risk, or upheaval of surrounding processes.
Vizie is a web based software system that tracks, integrates and visualises customer feedback across a range of social media channels in real time.
Unlike most commercial social media tools, Vizie uses our expertise in natural language processing and text analysis algorithms to group content by topic, providing social media managers with immediate insight into the major issues that they can expect to deal with on any given day.
Vizie also allows social media managers to drill down to channels and individual posts; record any engagement with these as part of permanent “case histories”; and automatically archive and produce reports on all indicators measured by the platform.
We designed and developed Vizie based on extensive time spent with the department’s social media managers, including observations of everyday workflows and co-design of a series of iterations of the platform.
Since Vizie’s initial deployment, we’ve continued to work with the department to collaborate on incremental updates to the tool.
Connecting with customers
Vizie's success has seen it scale up to match the Department of Human Service's fast-growing social media presence, with the platform now deployed across a number of service lines as well as Centrelink.
With people using social media more than ever before, The Department of Human Services has deployed Vizie across a range of their service lines to help monitor customer feedback across social media channels.
Vizie uses natural language processing techniques to organise social media posts based on content.
This helps the department’s communications teams connect with customers faster and track topical issues in real time.
Vizie has helped the department build a great reputation on social media, and even allowed them to connect with customers in unusual places such as video game and caravanning forums.
Initially developed for (and by) a team of less than five people, Vizie now acts as the primary social media platform for far larger teams.
The platform also significantly contributes to the department's reputation for providing timely and comprehensive digital responses wherever relevant queries arise – including in forums as varied as those for video gamers and caravan owners. Following initial reactions of surprise at these responses, a growing body of citizens now turn to official department social media channels as a first preference for information and queries.
The department's social media managers are also able to take an increasingly targeted "triage" approach to identifying at-risk individuals, based on the language and post structures they're using.
We are now in the process of commercialising Vizie, with a number of government and public-sector agencies also looking to adopt customised versions of the platform.