What’s your organization’s social CRM strategy?
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To date, many senior executives have classified anything “social” as a job for the marketing team and its customer-attraction campaigns. But relegating social CRM to just the marketing department would be a mistake. In fact, social CRM offers upsides for any customer-facing group.
But to see business benefits from social networks, you need to create a social CRM strategy. This doesn’t involve launching some new social CRM business group, but rather overlaying social practices onto your existing marketing, sales, service and team collaboration practices, to facilitate better interactions not just between employees, but also with your customers.
4 Social Strategy Best Practices
Based on Innoveer’s extensive CRM experience, we’ve identified these four best practices as the best place to begin:
- CRM strategy alignment: Forge strong connections between your organization’s overall CRM plans, and its approach to becoming a social business
- Social Capabilities: Assess current and future customer touchpoints, and identify opportunities for improving customer engagement by using social channels
- Social Technology: Analyze strengths and weaknesses of current technology, and determine which options will best support your desired social touchpoints
- Social Plan: Define a prioritized set of initiatives in a high-level plan for executing your social CRM strategy
As with any aspect of CRM, you’ll see maximum benefits by investing a little time up front to articulate exactly what your strategy is, before launching any social CRM project designed to implement that plan.
How Social CRM Changes Existing Approaches
What do CRM projects look like after the addition of social CRM? As an example, one of Innoveer’s customers, which sell products customized to its clients’ needs, has a straightforward business strategy: grow as fast as possible. Accordingly, the company’s CRM strategy has been designed in large part to maximize the efficiency of the sales team, so that they can book as many sales as possible.
How would such a strategy look after overlaying social CRM? Likely, the social alignment would begin by focusing on ensuring that leads funnel more quickly to the sales team, including leads and prospects gleaned not just from conferences and advertising campaigns, but also the interactions on Facebook and Twitter. In other words, it’s the company’s existing customer-acquisition (aka sales) strategy, enhanced with social CRM.
Create a Unified Customer Front
One crucial point with your social CRM strategy, however, is that it isn’t just about marketing, sales, or service, but rather all of them together. That’s because social networks demand new types of interaction and collaboration between customer-facing teams, though of course what works for a high-technology manufacturer won’t necessarily be the approach that financial services firm will want to pursue.
But here’s one good place to begin: At many companies today, for example, the marketing department is in charge of Twitter. What happens, however, when a customer tweets about a product defect? For a company with a social strategy in place, and which is listening for those types of social media communications, ideally that situation would automatically cause a trouble ticket to be created, followed by an alert to the service team to reach out. Likewise, if the customer did spot a customer defect, engineering needs to know right away. Similarly, if the customer is part of a business account, sales needs to know that there’s an issue.
Again, it all comes back to this question: What’s your social CRM plan? To find the answer, first, articulate your social CRM business goals — increased efficiency, higher revenues, a better customer experience. Use our best practices for social strategy (above), as well as for marketing, sales, service and team collaboration, to help build your plan. Next, find the best technology for the job, and then go about finessing how your customer-facing groups can better join forces to keep customers happy. Above all, then, stay social.
Why become a social business? With more than 800 million people using Facebook, and 175 million on Twitter, you’re either courting them, or you’re missing out.