Remember the old roadtrip game 20 questions? You know, I ask you 20 yes or no questions and then guess what you’re thinking about. Well, I’ve got the 2013 version. It’s a little bit quicker–I only need 3 questions. And, it’s a bit better–the answer won’t be “a giraffe” or “a football,” but real, actionable business insight. Interested? Alright, let’s go:
- Question 1: Do you know what percentage of your customers you’re connected with via social media?
- Question 2: When your social media manager interacts with customers on one of your social media networks, will your sales or service staff know about it the next time they interact with them?
- Question 3: Are you actively prospecting your social media contacts and followers who are not current customers?
Now, here comes the reveal. If your answers were “no,” “nope,” and “uh-oh, not yet,” I know two things about your company: You’re not using social CRM software and you’re also missing an enormous business opportunity.
Social CRM: Keeping Up with the Customer Conversation
The promise of traditional CRM software has always been to strengthen your customer relationships by gathering together your customer interaction and outreach efforts. Emails, phone conversation notes, sales histories, service requests–all represent communication that’s been fair-game for CRM platforms to consolidate into a clear picture of your customer engagement.
But like guests adjourning from the dining-room to the living room at a dinner party, the conversation is moving. More and more customers are interacting with companies via social media channels. The interesting thing is that, CRM tools are moving too–and following the conversation.
As relatively new as social media may be in the business landscape, there’s already a clear pattern of enterprise adoption in place–starting with dipping the toes in the social media channel most relevant to the bulk of your customers and ending at full integration of social media with enterprise customer relationship.
Exploring Your Options
If you’d like to find out more about your social CRM software options, a number of providers are offering great software packages to consider:
- Sugar CRM
- Dynamics CRM
- Aptean Pivotal
“Nimble automatically pulls your contacts into one place so you can engage them across any channel (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Skype, Phone, Email) in one easy to use interface.”
“Open your Sugar home page, and let the social worlds of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn come to you. Find out how to use social tools within SugarCRM to start your day, research accounts, prepare for calls, and exchange updates with colleagues. Discover why it’s important to be able to search and share social information without leaving the CRM system—and how Sugar can help.”
“Far more than a passing trend, social is here to stay. But when it comes to applying it to your business, you may be asking, “Where do I start?” The answer is simple: start with the priorities you have for your business. Enterprise Social can help you do whatever you need to do—faster and smarter.”
“Our SocialCRM Suite is a comprehensive multichannel software for companies willing to engage in a direct conversation with their customers, allowing them to orchestrate, manage and secure conversations in their Internet properties as well as in the wild wild web.”
“Batchbook is a simple tool to help small businesses build meaningful relationships with their best customers. We help our customers organize disperse contact information and access it from the cloud so that small businesses can stay on top of their world saving agendas.”
“Pivotal Social CRM brings the power of the social Web into your business where it’s most relevant and valuable: within your CRM system. The solution integrates the most popular and ubiquitous social media tools—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, InsideView, and Google BlogSearch—with your users’ daily activity hub, CRM. This solution brings the deep insight and business intelligence of social media sites into your customer and prospect database, while incorporating sociamedia elements into your team’s natural daily workflows.”