Social CRM – what you need to learn about it from Paul Greenberg
2013 witnessed mass integration of social media channels into business operations. From just experimentation, entrepreneurs embraced social business and simultaneously adopted social media monitoring tools to deliver on-time social customer service.
In the words of an expert – ‘’ Businesses have recognized the value of human connection; which is why they have put the effort to build authentic and relevant connections more than ever. Last year, nearly all the major networks attempted to make themselves socially attractive with the introduction of analytics tools and more unconventional advertising models. Consequent to which 2013 saw Twitter make its debut in the corporate social media.’’
However, in spite of the high implementation ratio, many social media #fails emerged as an obstacle for the major networks.
Reputation Risk vs. Reward
While the rewards of social media are many, there is something that has held back many small and large companies to continue further.
Deloitte’s National Study – Many businesses perceive social media as the biggest threat and “technology disrupter” to their business models. They have become hesitant to continue embracing it, fearing corporate reputational risk.
What Paul Greenberg says –?
The sole factor behind the failure of social media customer service initiatives has been failed understanding and implementation of social CRM. The most common factors for social CRM project failures are similar to the factors associated with CRM software failures, such as
- Ambiguous strategy
- No measurable objectives
- Cultural failure
- Lack of understanding regarding the actual benefits of social CRM
Most companies assume to know what the customer wants, without actually having spoken to them. Inevitably, this leads companies to implement strategies, processes and systems which even when correct, fail to achieve the business goals.
In the words of Paul Greenberg – ‘’while there seems to be a consensus on the definition of social CRM, most of us see social CRM as the use of social and traditional CRM tools to automatically support and improve a strategy of customer engagement.’’
‘’How to use social CRM needs an escalation now. Enterprises need to figure out the business models, applications, processes and social characteristics that are required to actually implement the social CRM. Then only can the social media customer service begin to happen.’’
In what follows is a condensed version of how Paul Greenberg has defined and explained the use, functionality and implementation of social CRM to deliver the right type of customer service.
- To define precisely, Social CRM a.k.a. SCRM is an extension of CRM solutions, not a replacement of it. In a much dramatic way, it adds to the features, functions and characteristics of CRM. Like the CRM, SCRM is also based on the long-established principle underlining the importance of customers to a business and that every business (big or small) needs to run itself effectively to continue climbing up the ladder.
- 2004 has been the landmark year which sparked the need to have a SCRM. During that year, what got witnessed was dominance of the cellphone/smartphone and new social web tools. The instant availability of information in an organized way proved important to enterprises for getting the right intelligence.
- Part of the SCRM popularity has been due to word-of-mouth recommendation. Peer trust is how the influence and impact of social CRM had got germinated and propagated so quickly worldwide.
- Considering the present nature of customer expectations/demands, SCRM business strategy needs to be built around collaboration and customer engagement, not traditional customer management.
- Businesses need to map their goals and objectives synchronized with the customers' goals and objectives.
- They need to recognize
- Enterprise value chain
- Personal value chain of customer needs
- Companies should focus on providing products, services, tools and experiences that satisfies the personal value chain of the customer in relation to the enterprise. Intersection of enterprise value chain and the customer's personal value chain leads to the birth of a collaborative value chain.
- Collaborative value chain comprehensively engages the customer in the activities of the business. Example -
- Involvement of customers in service/product development
- Customer suggestions on company process improvement
- Customers taking initiative to solve other customer service issues.
- Collaborative value chain satiates both the company and the customer by providing each with what they need from the other to derive mutual beneficial value; which is primarily the core purpose of a SCRM.
- SCRM shifts companies focus from attaining satisfied customers to creating advocates. It emphasizes upon Customer Referral Value (CRV) i.e. how valuable customers are when they refer the company to others.
Looking ahead, Paul Greenberg has predicted social CRM to empower a new transformation of businesses. With Google already creating news in the SCRM industry by announcing a new feature in Google+, it is likely that CRM companies will extract ideas out of this (Google+ feature) development and integrate in their social CRM apps to give a better and improved experience to the businesses.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub