This isn’t some long, drawn out research-paper-posing-as-blog-post. I was just thinking about this on the way to work….for the past 6 months.
Which comes first? Social CRM technology, strategy or business process? I’m assuming some are going to read this and think it a stupid question at this point. “STRATEGY! You need a scrm strategy!” I can hear many of you yelling at your screen….you know who you are. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve argued the same thing)
Ok, so why?
What was the impetus for this whole social media thing in first place? Was it a business strategy? A process map? Nope. Discussion groups, forums, chat rooms; then Twitter, Facebook and on and on. Technology, right? If it weren’t for these social platforms, we wouldn’t be having academic conversations about business strategy or enterprise operating models, would we?
The second coolest word of advice David Alston gave at our panel discussion at the most recent SOCAP conference (this was the first) was to not over complicate this whole social crm thing. To customer service people, the audience at this event, social media has been portrayed by many consultants and gurus (with a vested interest) as the three headed monster under the bed. We’ve been talking to customers over the phone for how long? Exactly! So, what’s the difference? Sure, social platforms are more public. But, does the public nature of the channel automatically turn us into bumbling idiots that are going to trash our company’s brands in 140 characters? Frank Eliason had a classic retort to an audience question about influencers and influencer analysis. He said (paraphrasing) I’m in customer service. I don’t care how influential they are. I need to solve their problem. Do you ask who your customer knows before you answer their question on the phone?
So grab some tools, throw them in the back of the pick up truck and get started down the road. You’re customers are waiting.