Customer Relationship Management solutions have sadly been misunderstood by many. Normally they are defined as the system for managing customer data, but in reality it should be so much more; the core process by which the corporation manages all its interactions with customers and prospects. When you add social media into the corporate domain then how we manage customer relationships changes, hence the term Social CRM. Businesses are no longer simply managing that relationship through telephone, or face-to-face meetings. The customer may be communicating through a mass of other channels and every business needs to be listening.
Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels can tell us so much about the customer’s intentions, motivation, and thinking. This needs to be integrated with other insights about the customer. The CRM solution needs to actively integrate customer social profiles to make this happen.
Currently the majority of CRM solutions are not social media aware, let alone able to manage an active integration of all the components. This change will occur, but sadly to date the majority of installed solutions are limited in their capability. Can your existing solution handle the following:
* extended customer profiles
* customer insights
* collaborative insights
* enterprise collaboration
Extended customer profiling must include links to the many social sites the customer and their key decision makers are active on. These links need to be active links in order to allow specific CRM users access to customer thinking. This can impact the whole way that relationship is managed.
The term ‘active link’ in this context will allow the CRM user to jump directly from the customer profile to a specific social site, and even recognises the possibility that a customer may have many profiles being active on many sites. All CRM solutions include notes fields, these are not appropriate for long term storage of social links.
Drawing out customer insights is a vital aspect of social media intervention. There is only limited value of being active without measuring the customer’s insights. The term ‘measuring’ was used deliberately in this context. For larger corporations these customer insights need to be measurable, through the Business Intelligence solutions and add value to customer interactions. It can allow us to be more responsive. We can also become more proactive in managing that relationship.
Collaborative insights can involve a wide range of people, including industry experts. This allows the business to manage its intervention in the marketplace more effectively, being more responsive to changing market conditions. Ever thought of involving your customers in your product development efforts? Everyone has an opinion and on many of the social media channels people are not afraid to give them. For the listening corporation there are many new ideas available, including the insights that can be gleamed from within the enterprise. These can cover a range of ideas and certainly go beyond the old fashioned suggestion box.
One thing is certain social media is not simply another advertising channel. Business intervention is required to make the most of the channels. The CRM is a business tool that can aid in that intervention.
Tags: Business Intelligence, CRM, Customer, Marketing, Social Media