Thursday, March 11, 2010

Social CRM

Social CRM or Social Customer Relationship Management is a topic I've been aware for a while now, mainly in the content of those I follow on Twitter and their blogs. However its not something I have previosuly taken the time to dig into, until recently when I noticed more mentions of it by people such as http://twitter.com/jowyang and http://twitter.com/BrentLeary.
It therefore seemed to me that Social CRM is that hazy area where CRM meets the social web and it was therefore interesting to me to see what this means and how its helps companies.

Now 'traditional' CRM has its roots in the sales force automation and marketing automation (basically a bunch of rules about: when to contact a customer, what they have bought and what next to sell them) and wonderfully gives a 360 degree/holistic view of the customer (I've commented on this before back as far back as July 2008).

Whereas Social Media is a conversation with your customer - albeit this does follow a process - but one that can follow any number of outcome paths depending upon the situation, the customer and their sentiment towards the product and/or brand. So its kind of hard to see how this 'soft and touchy' approach combines with the rigorous processes of CRM.

To get to the bottom of this, there's a number of different definitions I found, including:

So, in my eventual view, I see Social CRM as the use of social media to listen and engage with customers and to link this feedback into a company CRM system to better understand customers general needs and identify & triggers specific opportunities for sale or reputation management.

Note: If you follow me on Twitter you will see that this definition led me to Tweet:

Realising that I've been talking about social crm #scrm for ages, but just never used that term....
http://twitter.com/haydens30/status/9770684766

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