2011 – The Year of Social CRM

The conversation of social CRM has been a topic of conversation for the past two years, and I only foresee that the conversation will grow even more so in 2011. Hell, even the University of Toronto held a three-day course on Social CRM. I was passed along a great article by Houston Neal, of Software Advice, entitled “Social CRM Doesn’t Exist, But a Need Does.” As I was reading through, I couldn’t help but agree. Yes Houston – we do have a problem.

Internally, organizations are debating philosophical differences between what is sCRM, confusing it with what can be deemed as eCRM. However, sCRM is so much more – and can lead to more than eCRM can ever achieve. Like Houston shares, there are social monitoring tools, social analytics tools, CRM specialty software solutions and engagement platforms. He shares a great graphic of the tools here.

Today, we don’t have a tool that does all of this – but we also don’t have a 100% solution for each of the breakouts either. No tool does it all. And the reality, I’m not sure we’ll ever get to that point. However, we need to build out more than a tool, but a comprehensive plan that reaches maximum integration of research, analysis, engagement and measurement.

Why Social CRM is different.

Our consumers consume information different, leveraging social channels to learn about what’s important to them. They’re savvy and they expect brands to listen and engage. Social consumers hold the power, and in order for us to reach her, we need to earn her trust.

Paul Greenberg, and author and leading authority on SCRM, stated that Social CRM is “…designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide a mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. It’s the company response to the customer’s owning of the relationship.” (from Mashable)

What this means?

Organizations need to integrate internally, to be in lock-step externally. This means outlining guidance, conducting training and outlining engaging. Social CRM forces organization challenges to be addressed. Customer service, marketing, PR, sales force and R&D all need to talk to each other and work together. However, even before that, we need to have clear objectives. And so, another key component is …

A Strong Strategy with Measureables. Clearly outline your objective with engaging and ensure that everyone in the organization understands this. Furthermore, without a unified mission, no singular goal will ever be accomplished.

And now that you’re committed, set out a clear process. The process map should start at research and listening, through analytics and even further to discuss key learnings. Below is a high level process map, but a more detailed user flow is also essential. What is the engagement, who do we engage internally, how do we engage and what do we engage with?

Define the channels for engagement, based on where your customers are. Conduct intensive research to know who your customers are – their environment, their habits, their struggles. Then, find meaningful ways to engage with them, where they are, and in the most authentic way.

What are your thoughts on social CRM? Know a company that’s doing it well?

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Posted on February 3, 2011, in Corp Comms, Leadership/Management, Marketing, social media. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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