The Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 Experience Continuum

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I’m a big fan of the work that Esteban Kolsky has been doing with Social CRM and he recently stated that he is going to be branching over towards the Enterprise 2.0 space. Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 efforts need to work in conjunction with one another and that’s what this whole post is about. Dion Hinchliffe recently wrote an article stating that Social CRM is Ground Zero for Enterprise 2.0 and I couldn’t agree more.

This is why I have been working with Esteban Kolsky on thinking through some of these ideas and developing frameworks around them. I’m working with Esteban on a Social CRM presentation that I’m going to deliver for the New Communications Forum towards the end of April which should be quite interesting. The idea of the Experience Continuum is taken from one of Esteban’s older posts, we just worked together on designing the new visual for it which I am going to go through and explain.

I’m sure Esteban can do a much better job of covering the details and concepts behind this but I’ll just provide an overview. The key to this framework is to understand that the process between SCRM and E2.0 is never ending and that they both integrate into one another. The feedback and the knowledge that is obtained from SCRM is then fed back into the Enterprise to be acted upon. Once action is taken the customers once again provide feedback and so the process continues. This never ending sharing of information and customer empowerment is what is referred to as the experience continuum.



Let’s briefly identify the four key areas within the continuum, keep in mind that the same structure exists for both internal E2.0 and external SCRM efforts.

Biz function

  • This refers to who is going to take the specific action and receive the information. Is this going to be handled by the customer service team or by the marketing/pr team?

Rules

  • Every business function has it’s own set of rules and governance for how to various initiatives are to be approached and executed. For example Comcast uses their customer service team to front end their social media efforts, from there any issues that cannot be covered by their team get ticketed and forwarded to the correct team in the correct department. Having a set of rules and processes in place is a necessity. Keep in mind the set of rules also applies to anything that goes on internally within the enterprise.

Channel

  • This is the method of communication and execution. How is the response/action going to be handled and through what channels.


Community

  • This is the final process that actually deals with execution and community interaction. Again this can be the external community of users or the internal community of employees and stakeholders.

As I mentioned this is the basic high level overview of the Experience Continuum. I’ll let Esteban get into more detail and will perhaps update this post with his notes, but for now I’m curious to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to poke holes, analyze, and critique all of the above and we will make changes that make sense

14 COMMENTS

  1. Jacob this is a great graphic to illustrate the idea that a “social business strategy” must integrate internal and external constituents.

    At a recent meetup where Esteban talked about this vision, one analogy came to mind. Enterprises are fond talking about managing what goes on “inside the firewall.” Customers, of course, are outside that same firewall.

    While firewalls make sense for Internet security, it’s a poor term to use if social business is to help increase employee/customer engagement. The solution: turn the “firewall” into a “membrane” where communication flows more freely. Otherwise, we’ll end up with two more silos — SCRM and E2.0.

    It’s time for these two worlds to start coming together, and I’m delighted to see you and Esteban leading the way. Bravo!

  2. Customers are not part of “client facing operations” as far as I know. Where does the customer experience fit into this? If I read the graphic literally, the experience and feedback cycle can be read as relevant to operations staff only since it consists of “client facing operations.” Customers are not part of operations, though they may be partners in co-creation. I think we really need to think more about the differences between experiences and relationships to adequately understand the inner and outer limits of social CRM.

    BTW: The spam restrictions on this blog are too much!

  3. Nice article but there’s a comment which grates with me here as much as it did in Dion Hinchliffe’s great article.

    It’s this: I don’t like Social CRM getting lumped into “Enterprise 2.0” as that term is not inclusive of SMEs who have as much to gain from connecting customers directly to their systems as anyone.

    SMEs are doing a great job of using tools like Twitter to build relationships with customers. Many are looking to hosted Social CRM systems to integrate with this successful activity. Other than a few Twitter apps to help with their experience these may be the only “social” applications they make use of — but it’s valid and you couldn’t and shouldn’t term it Enterprise 2.0.

    I’d welcome your thoughts Jacob.

    Ian Hendry
    CEO, WeCanDo.BIZ

  4. Jacob,

    Nice post. A nice simple, easy to discuss graphic. I actually get it.

    Bob, I think the membrane analogy is perfect.

    Larry, If this graphic identifies what the company can control (I know, bad word), then it’s pretty accurate in my opinion. If we start adding in everything a customer controls it could become the sort of representation I loathe.

  5. Thanks Jacob for a good coverage at a high level. It kinda sounds weird to see someone else describe it, but you have done a good job.

    This is a very simple representation of the new model for Experience Management (no, it is not a bad word), which was first attempted at my blog while working on the Roadmap to SCRM (plug, first part of 5 – actually 6 – is at http://bit.ly/mOdqc).

    I developed this model because the current approach to experience management is severely flawed in that it focuses only on one experience, at one specific moment in time. Of course, that is not the way an experience should be perceived or the way a customer expects. The actual interactions are supposed to be the representation of the experience, not the experience itself. Alas, that is not the way we have looked at this.

    The model above starts and ends — well, at any point you want really since it is a continuum, infinite, perpetual execution model. Let’s focus on the interactions (called experiences here for the sake of cohesiveness). If you deliver an experience to the customer, they will provide feedback back to you (this is done via many ways, structured as in surveys or unstructured as in a blog or tweet for example). A social business will capture this feedback and run it via their analytical tools, and extract actionable insights from the analytical exercise.

    This is the place where good intentions usually go to die, as the actionable insights are ignored — or there is no workflow in place that would take them into the working groups in the back office and operations worlds, where they are going to be acted on. This actions are going to be modifying the processes (hopefully end-to-end processes — the way to do it with experience management), which in turn will produce better interactions (sorry, experiences) back to the customer.

    And the endless loop will continue.

    There are in the explanation above some missing elements in today’s enterprise: a focus on feedback (some of them already understand the role of EFM, most of them not so much beyond surveys), a good knowledge and understanding of the analytical tools and functions (the fastest growing career for the next decade is going to be business analytics), and the critical elements of the workflows that take those actionable insights to where they belong so they can acted on.

    Those are the challenges right now in building this model into something in the organization.

    Now, there is a lot more to discuss… my original idea was to take this picture and write an entire book around it — but since then have had some more ideas on how to improve it… that will part of my research focus for the year — happy to share as I go along, just follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/ekolsky) or my blog (http://thinkjar.net).

    G

  6. Hi there, whilst I concur with my colleague Ian above about this being nicely written if also being unsure about the E2.0/SocCRM link; I would be intrigued to know something really simple….what is the purpose of the article? This is meant as a constructive question. It all reduces really neatly to a nice explanatory graphic….but what is the purpose of it and who is it intended for?

    Chris

  7. Apparently you didn’t read my post on trying to include Life, The Universe and Everything in one single diagram. This diagram isn’t about “Social CRM” all by itself. I’m not going into what it is and how it should be depicted here. The point is, understand the relationship the diagram is describing and don’t muddy it up. Otherwise, it will go on forever.

    Where did this say it was “all” about Social CRM?

    Mike Boysen
    Effective CRM

  8. Hi Chris,

    I’ve been following the conversation going on through twitter and many SCRM discussions. From what I observe the focus of this framework is to begin capturing vital data and analysis of user experiences.

    Until now, there really hasn’t been any foundation on how to capture this data in a social world, where it’s hard to ignore.

    We must be able to capture that real time experience and manage it accordingly.

    As many Customer Centric Innovators believe to much emphasis is being put on the relationship when in fact the customer doesn’t want a relationship, customers want the experience.

    Customers value the outcome, the job the product/service does to meet their unmet needs, and so forth..

    the only way to do this is through a experience management framework.

    The relationship in itself is only an company internal process, the experience connects you to the customer, not the relationship the customer has with you, but with the product and service.

    How can we improve on this?
    This is what i believe SCRM and Enterpise 2.0 can do.

    Regards
    Spiro
    Spiliadis

  9. Ian,

    Enterprise 2.0 has always been inclusive of SCRM (per the original definition by A McAfee). It has been the implementation of both that separated it. There is no way that one would work without the other one (I commented on Dion’s article at length of why not, mostly the fact that E2.0 is about making the company customer-centric and you cannot do that without CRM Tools).

    I am not sure if your comment is to keep them apart, or to highlight the customer-facing operations of the E2.0 implementation. If the former, well — cannot un-spill the milk — they go together and even SME will benefit from that (the myth that E2.0 is for larger organizations, or that customer-centricity is expensive is just that). See, the benefits that come from the mindframe and culture (does not require any new or different technologies or tools, really) of being customer-centric apply to all organizations of all sizes — not just large ones.

    If you comment is to keep the tools separate, I see no problem with that as SCRM and E2.0 (as defined today – or E2.0 or Social Business as properly defined) really can use all different tools as they enterprise-wide strategies which include customer-centricity as one of the core concepts. Alas, as we learn in the last 20 years of CRM, you cannot try to solve a strategic problem with a tool or a technology. They are there to aid and assist, not to solve the problems.

    I am just somewhat concerned when anyone tries to convert a tool or a technology into a solution since that is not the answers that we need.

  10. Spiro,

    Great comment… and you are 100% right. This diagram and my research for the last 5-7 years has focused on the feedback and the analytics associated with it. This is what should fuel processes once we use them to identify what customers want.

    The main failure for CRM was that the first systems never took the time to find out what customers wanted, it was always assumed we could deduct that by simply looking at the transactional data. The lack of direct attitudinal and psychographic information made those systems fail in their attempt to provide the holy grail of the 360-degree view of the customer that was promised.

    By using direct feedback (both structured and unstructured) we are gaining that information and by combining it wit existing information on record, we can actually work better with customers.

    this is the promise of social – bringing in psychographic and attitudinal data to play in CRM systems and the rest of the etnerperise in a Social Business.

  11. Spiro

    I certainly agree that the customer needs ‘the experience’ as much as the sales professional/supplier/whatever needs ‘the relationship’; however I suspect that an attempt to codify (albeit in such a common-sense way (forgive me if that is a bit of an Emperor’s New Clothes type comment) may well turn out to be just a little redundant. We who work in the ‘Social CRM’ arena know a little of what ‘is’ and have our view of what ‘will be’ but it will change at the speed of light. I congratulate the guys on their great efforts to put forward some kind of framework but I still question the actual need for it. Here’s a question; who will actually sit down and use it or build an operational strategy around it? I would argue that what it is is a picture of what actually happens now (or will happen in the very near future. I disagree that ‘the only way…is through a framework’ Why does it have to be? Surely there is some space for original thought here. We are at the very beginning of Social CRM and we are still, I believe at the beginning of ‘Social’…now is the time to innovate and be creative. To listen, to try new stuff and to break barriers…not I would argue to say ‘well, for now, it is and should be like this!’

    I am going to make a really contentious point here. SocialCRM is just CRM albeit with MASSIVE bells and whistles. The major differences are that done properly you just ‘get’ all your customer data updated constantly and you have an opportunity to learn and understand what your customers and market want and need, dislike and don’t need and the good and bad stuff they are saying about you, your customers and your competitors. It largely doesn’t matter HOW you find that information (your customers will only care that you are interested) and you certainly don’t need an industry framework to do that. Call me a anarchist in the field if you will but I certainly believe that the more tools and mechanisms you use to connect the better. It is great if they are all in one place but that doesn’t really matter; it is what you do with your information and its currency that does.

    I am more than happy to help in any way I can but we need to be very careful about suggesting SCRM is purely a subset of whatever E2.0 is or may become….and we must be VERY careful about disregarding the millions and millions of small businesses and billions of consumers who either won’t or don’t care or who just want good service.

    Codifying has advantages at times, I do not disagree but what comes next? Training and consultancy in ‘the right way’ to do SCRM and E2.0 … I for one hope not. IF the next step is; ‘Here are some things to consider…now go do it your own way’ then I am all for that.

    I hope that you do not take my comments negatively as I can see some really good work has been done here. I just question again, ‘Why’ because I am still no nearer understanding a true practical application.

    Happy to learn

    Chris

  12. Wow, I didn’t even see all of these comments. Apologies to everyone, for some reason I didn’t get an email from customer think re: all the interactions, very glad that esteban was here to answer the questions! If anyone else wants to chat about this please find me on twitter @jacobm. I’ll speak to Bob to make sure that I get notified next time I write something that gets posted here.

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