Date: Friday, March 14, 2014
About The Author
Officer Mike Bires has been a police officer
for over 20 years in Southern California.
Along with working assignments in
corrections, SWAT, bike patrol, and as a
field training officer, Mike is currently a
university resource officer assigned to a
large university. Having a background in
website design and development, Mike is on
his department’s social media team and the developer of the department’s website. He is an active member of the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Social Media Group.
Social media managers can get valuable recommendations and feedback from your department’s customer service agents - the dispatchers.
How our social media and website efforts will affect a certain division or section within our department is one of the first points we evaluate and consider when implementing something new on our website or in our social media program. Being that social media inclusion in law enforcement is still relatively new, we have to take steps to ensure we can get “buy-in” from within our ranks first, rather than negative experiences.
Every Department Has Customer Service Agents
Many people have never called the police or even spoken to a police officer. When that unfortunate day happens when they do need us, their very first interaction with law enforcement will be a dispatcher. This makes our dispatchers one of the most valued assets we have – customer service agents.
If you have ever had a great experience with a customer service agent from a company, then you know how important it is for your department that your callers feel the same way. Great service can only be given when those giving it are knowledgeable about their company and its products, procedures, marketing, and advertising efforts.
If we give these tools to our dispatchers, they too will be able to give great service. They need to know what the social media team is doing or about to do, so when they pick up the telephone, they sound professional and competent with the information they are providing. After all, if a company is going to offer a 50% discount on a product, the people answering the phones better know about it beforehand, right?
This doesn’t mean dispatchers have to know every single tweet or posting on Facebook you are going to make. What it does mean is they need to know when something important is going to be distributed to the public through the website or social media.
A Part of Social Media “R&D”
Research and development is important in anything successful. You can’t make something with-out doing R&D and you can’t fix problems without it as well. Dispatchers can be a vital part in your R&D when it comes to your social media program.
Your dispatchers can tell you if they are having difficulty “walking” a caller through the website in search for information, or if you need to create a new section for something they are always getting calls about. Since they are using the website probably more than yourself, doesn’t it make sense to listen to their suggestions or critiques?
Inclusion Means Promotion
By considering the dispatcher’s opinions, observations, suggestions, and critiques, you can create an internal fan base of your social media program. Your dispatchers will take pride in knowing they have an important role in their department’s success, and the inclusion of something which might make their workload a little lighter.