Observations why Social CRM isn’t


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No, I won’t claim Social CRM is dead, to the contrary. It just isn’t growing up fast enough to really have a business impact. This is more likely due to the slow pace at which companies are responding to changing market environments than it is due to the advancement of technology…

There are a few observations I would like to share with you. Observations I see as hindering us in the advancement of service being practiced as the dominant logic, Social CRM as the supporting strategy and Customer engagement as it’s underlying tactic.

It’s company centric
Companies continue to think mainly how social technology in general and on-line social networks can help them, not their Customers. All talk on Google+ (and any other on-line social network for that matter) seems to be focused on how companies can use it to engage Customers, mine their conversations and to become part of their circles (to sell them stuff). Companies continue to ignore that CRM should shift it’s focus from the Company – Customer relationship to the Customer – Customer relationship..

Influence, not value

Social Network analysis is targeted to understand how influence flows through them. But it’s not influence that creates value for Customers. We would make a lot more progress if we would direct all these resources to understand how Customer’s value is created in, and flows through, social networks. Because this will help us design and align touch-points that facilitate value co-creation with Customers, not just supportive of transactions.

Mono-channel focus
The current logic of many companies is that investments should flow to mobile and social channels, because this is where, and how, the Customer “hangs out”.. They seem to be forgetting that way too many Customers continue to fail doing what they need to do at the “traditional” touch-points like the Call Center or the company’s web-site.

Adopting a Social CRM strategy is NOT about trying to get a spot inside the Customer’s circles and at the same time letting them wait in the cold after knocking on your touch-points door!

Lack of accountability
Social CRM or engagement initiatives are currently supported by good-will mostly. All energy is directed to getting social working, without a clear view on what types of value it should generate for companies. Most are on the train, or almost ready to jump on it, few know where it’s heading. If we are not tying Customer engagement tactics to Customer engagement value, your social initiatives will not outlive the next crisis.

Analyst paralysis
On top of all of the above, analyst firms, like Gartner, continue to publish quadrants and posts that make no sense and by doing so confusing companies even more. (You should read Paul Greenberg’s post on this topic! He’s spot on.)

Catching the wave
The root cause, if you ask me, is that many just consider this to be a wave that they need to catch long enough to jump the next one.. To me it looks like this wave is heading towards the doldrums, if it hasn’t arrived there already. And if you do not have a strategy to navigate those, you should not expect to get out of there anytime soon!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. Graham always seems to say “perception is reality” from a mindset point of view, I’ve realized after three years and hundreds upon hundreds of documents read (shared by you and others) that this type of information offered up is not tactical.

    In other words it’s not a tactic you pursue rather it’s a paradigm shift you transition into,

    The more and more i read information like this the more i seem to unlearn and disentangle myself thus allowing this insight to penetrate my mindset.

    It’s not an easy task especially when the daily grind of what already exists and the pressures of investors and so forth seem to not let you transition into this mindset, A Service Dominant Logic Mindset that is…

    My recent efforts with a potential client in and around all the insights I’ve offered up through SDL, ODI, VCC, seem to be all theory and not applicable in daily tasks, that’s not because the information to them isn’t insightful rather it hasn’t penetrated a mindset that sees everything from this “perspective reality”

    Thus when building a vcc platform instead of a website, or when thinking of what to do with insights to improve people’s lives rather than improve upon a product, only shows up from the grind, that same grind we go through but perhaps with a wrong mindset…

    My point is none of this information makes sense if you don’t have the ability and willingness to shift paradigms…


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