By Denise Holland
Social CRM (SCRM) Special Report
Table of Contents
- CRM Solutions Fall Short of Customer Engagement
- CRM in the World of Web 2.0
- Social CRM Defined
- Traditional CRM versus Social CRM
- Fear of Social CRM
Social CRM Opportunities
- Social CRM Hazards
- A New Channel Strategy
- Profiles of Social Customers
- 10 Social Listening Metrics
- Integrating Social CRM into Your CRM Strategy
- CRM Vendor Response to Social Media
CRM Solutions Fall Short of Customer Engagement
Potential customers are discussing their need for a product just like yours on a social network. But you don't know this discussion is taking place.
These prospects encounter a blog in which one of your current customers is complaining that a feature on one of your products isn't working as expected. Worse, the customer reached out to your call center for support and was given the run around. Other participants react with alarm and the discussion spreads. Several people post that they are using a rival product that does not seem to have that problem.
The fact is, you were aware of the problem before this discussion existed. You know the problem is easily addressed—a virtual non-issue—but its not been made a priority and since the complaints were not elevated by your call center, you don't know the discussion is taking place and can't respond. The result is you have lost potential customers you didn't know existed due to an online discussion you didn't know was taking place. Unfortunately, your main competitor has been monitoring social networks, has gained important insight from this discussion, now has several sales leads and will embody this information into new campaign messaging.
If you're like most progressive companies, you have made the investment in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solution and implemented it carefully, working hard to transform your company into a customer-centric enterprise that your staff is supporting enthusiastically. You've created a single customer profile and eliminated information silos among different business units. Your call center is automated and incoming customer data is gathered, analyzed and put to competitive use. ROI is coming along as expected.
And yet, for all this financial investment and customer-centric activity, you find yourself on the outside of a growing customer conversation. For all the care you've taken to merge your customer channels—bringing together phone, chat, email, fax—new channels have been developing outside your enterprise—channels that you don't own and can't control. These social media channels are, nonetheless, impacting your business.
Thanks to the growth of social media customers today are connected to each other in multiple, independent ways. They no longer have to wait for you to establish a users forum to find each other or contact your customer service department to resolve a problem. Linked In, Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter, blogs and many, many other social networks allow people to connect and engage in spontaneous discussions about common experiences. Customers can pan your product by posting a bad review on a shopping site or, even worse, by posting a satirical video on YouTube. Any negative message can find its way around the world virally taking on a life of its own and dragging your company's reputation down the drain.
Game Changer or Just Another Channel?
Traditional CRM systems were not designed to handle social media. Yet, according to Forrester Research, three-quarters of U.S. online adults use social technologies and that number is steadily growing. As the technologists and analysts confront this community and conversational revolution, some see social media as a complete game changer that transfers conversational power from the company to the customer. Others, however, view it less dramatically as just another channel that must be integrated into CRM strategy and technology. But the fact remains that social media is now pervasive, and companies must adapt their service, sales and marketing technologies and processes if they are to continue to be competitive.
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If you're like most progressive companies, you have made the investment in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solution and implemented it carefully, working hard to transform your company into a customer-centric enterprise that your staff is supporting enthusiastically. And yet, for all this financial investment and customer-centric activity, you find yourself on the outside of a growing customer conversation.
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