Social CRM for CRM’ers


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As a grizzled CRM veteran, you probably have mixed feelings about all of this touchy feely stuff like the social customer and social business. The bottom line is that it’s probably set you off a bit with regard to all these new things people are calling Social CRM. After all, you’re the expert in CRM platforms, right? Who are all of these social media and PR people with all of these bizarre new software tools they’re calling Social CRM?

Oh, I forgot the Sales 2.0 people who forgot that SFA died all by its lonesome.

Social CRM doesn’t look like Twitter. It doesn’t look like a product review website. It doesn’t look like a Social Support Community and it doesn’t look like a Social Media Monitoring tool. It doesn’t look like a viral marketing campaign either. Support communities are logical extensions of CRM and linkage is usually available. Simple enough. Product reviews and and SM monitoring, however, are really about the people that are conversing, and these people are either in your database or they should be – as they already would be in a support community.

Don’t build your business on silo’s

So, what is Social CRM? Don’t worry, it’s really simple as far as you’re concerned. Here’s what traditional CRM looked like with regard to relationships. All of it in one place, the contact – inherited by the Account and anything else you tied into it.

  • Notes
  • Emails
  • Meetings
  • Phone Calls

These are all 1:1 relationship points, maybe 1:M in some cases. Adding social to CRM means dealing with not only more 1:1 and 1:M communication channels, but also the ability to see M:M or 1:M or 1:1. Nothing really nifty here? Well, what about being able to see your customers engage with people other than you, but on topics that may interest you ?

Social CRM, the platform – not the concept, is going to add these to your traditional contact mix, and do so in a way that won’t require you to use multiple disconnected tools:

  • LinkedIn statuses and group discussions
  • Facebook walls and comments
  • Blog comment threads
  • Traditional Forum Threads
  • Social Community Threads

Imagine seeing your email, Twitter and Facebook conversations with a Contact in a single place – and being able to reply, or initiate, from that single place. And best of all, retain all the CRM goodness you have today and tie all of this into it. Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Process Automation – all levering this new social data in a very structured and cohesive way.

The Social CRM protocol will be born – a standard for tying relationship together, completely. It may be a hodge podge or proprietary mechanisms at first. But, that’s far better than a hodge podge of silos we would have to deal with.

If you’ve ever used Twitter, there are two gaping holes: 1) 140 character limit and 2) it’s not tied to the place where you maintain your relationship information. A contactified Twitter client is not the answer. Same goes for all the other social media venues. This is changing CRM’ers. Don’t despair. It will begin looking like the CRM you’ve grown used to. With, maybe, a few modernization moves to catch-up a bit.

You need to get with the plan. It’s not going away. Don’t let the social media folks confuse the issue. It’s really very, very simple.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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