Embrace Social CRM Technology For Business Benefits
What’s the best way to embrace social technology in a manner that leads to maximum business benefits?
One strategy is to treat ROI as secondary for social CRM; just jump in. That, however, presumes that your business has perfect, advanced CRM processes already in place. And, as Gartner Group’s Michael Maoz cautions, “It is pretty amazing to find the number of customer service organizations that are deep into discussions on Social Media and Social 2.0 or 5.0 or whatever we are up to today, yet have broken customer service processes.”
Accordingly, the better strategy is to aim social CRM, just like classic CRM, at achieving specific business goals. We call that becoming a social business. This approach treats social CRM not as a silver bullet, but rather as an essential overlay — required for a world in which social interactions are outpacing traditional Internet surfing — on your existing marketing, sales and service practices.
Define Your Social Business Goals
Ideally, building a social business attack plan begins with this question: How will social CRM help your organization generate additional revenue, reduce costs, or improve the customer experience?
Here’s how some businesses are answering that question:
- Reduce costs: BA recently tweeted (as far as marketing costs go, how inexpensive is that?) about a flash sale on flights to India occurring within the next six months. As someone who will be making that journey, I bought in.
- Increase efficiency: Customers want to use the self-service channels with which they’re most comfortable. Well, will most organizations’ current approach–predominantly, using Web pages–work while they’re stuck in a traffic jam on route 128, outside of Boston, and using their smartphone? No, they want Facebook, Twitter, or even Siri.
- Improve the customer experience: Consider all of the ways you can delight your customers. Take the KLM Surprise Team at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport, which this past summer monitored all of the @KLM tweets people made, then bought a little surprise for some of them, delivered during their layover. The result has been excellent publicity and goodwill. Everyone loves a great customer satisfaction story.
One of the great legal fictions today is to talk about corporations as if they’re people. But one significant social CRM upside is to actually make businesses more personal, and not just as a legal hedge.
Assess The 5 Social CRM Proficiencies
What’s the best way to encourage social CRM proficiencies to flourish? Based on Innoveer’s CRM experience, we’ve identified five best practices for benefiting from social CRM:
- Strategy: Leverage social business strategies to enhance current marketing, sales and service processes
- Marketing: Deploy social technology to improve marketing outreach and campaign effectiveness
- Sales: Maximize revenues by mastering the sales potential and deep customer insights afforded by social technology
- Service: Use social CRM to improve customer service processes, including case management
- Collaboration: Ensure social technology leads to enhanced interaction and coordination between customer-facing groups
Assess your business’s current capabilities in each of those areas, as well as your business goals, to rapidly develop a strategy for improving overall social CRM capabilities and truly becoming a social business.
Learn To Be Social As You Go
How you plan may also depend on your choice of technology — such as Jive, Lithium, or Salesforce.com — because such tools are not yet commoditized. Accordingly, your social CRM capabilities will depend on what you pick, and will also help shape your actual social CRM business strategy.
But as with any tool, businesses that simply throw social technology at their employees risk project disaster. Instead, clearly articulate the business case for using them, as well as how you’ll be monitoring, encouraging and reinforcing social CRM.
The goal is to help every customer-facing part of your business to adapt. Before, for example, each of your salespeople may have had 10 leading customers, which made tracking their interests or hobbies relatively easy. But what if they each have 1,000 customers? How will you keep your salespeople feeling connected to them all? The easiest approach, arguably, is now to use LinkedIn and Facebook to help stay connected, and add greater dimensionality to the relationship.
For almost any business, however, “going social” will require mental adjustments, unlearning old habits, and developing new skills. It’s like the mental conditioning of a marathon runner: Don’t try to win the marathon. Instead, condition yourself to run the miles; with repetition comes mastery. So too with being social.
Innoveer helps organizations assess their existing social CRM strategy, sales, marketing, service, and collaboration capabilities. Contact us to learn more about Innoveer’s Social Business Framework, based on the best practices of hundreds of CRM practitioners, which we use to help businesses rapidly develop a social CRM adoption strategy.
One More ThingInnoveer is now part of Cloud Sherpas -- come visit us on our CRM insights on the Cloud Sherpas' Base Camp blog.
What is your opinion?
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009