Social Media: The BEST thing that ever happened to CRM


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Not a minute goes by without articles, presentations, videos, blog posts and tweets get published about the greatness and importance of social media. Amongst the news is a great mix of hype, reality and new thinking and very often a link is made between social media and CRM – by many popularly referred to as Social CRM.

Needless to say that social media has an impact on CRM but in this blog post we will take it one step further and claim that social media is more than that; it is the best thing that ever happened to CRM.

Here the reasons:

Social media has given CRM a second (or third) chance: Whereas CRM was hype a decade ago and companies couldn’t stop talking about customer centric approaches or “customer is king” principles, CRM ideas and implementations are today taken for granted in most organizations. Most companies never saw the promised or expected results of their CRM strategies and often settled for compromises when it came to becoming customer centric. Social media is one of the most talked about topics these days and by most companies at least somewhat considered related to CRM. This brings companies and CRM managers a great opportunity to revisit past strategies and improve.

Social media – more than CRM (alone) – forces companies to shift focus to their customers: Although true CRM puts customers in the centre of everything, CRM was (and still is) very often implemented in a setting where the company is the superior part in the relationship. Most often the focus of CRM strategies was put on the management part rather than on the relationship part of CRM. With the growth of social media the power balance has changed and customers have strengthened their position. This ranges from the choice of products and services that are available (through companies’ usage of marketing strategies including social media) to the ability to express opinions – and influencing others faster and more effectively than ever before. This power balance shift forces companies to put a lot more emphasis on listening and learning from their customers, as customers are simply more in control of the what, when and how today than ever before. The current balance is closer than ever to what was originally meant with true CRM but companies often “forgot” or neglected this – with social media, customers don’t allow companies to do so anymore.

Social media will improve CRM applications: Most companies today have one or more CRM (related) applications in place to support their numerous interactions with customers. As earlier mentioned, the majority of these implementations have been driven by compromises and the main focus was in many cases on internal process improvements and one way communication. Social media fosters real time two way communication, and product improvements will allow for companies and customers to engage and interact in a way that was simply not possible just a few years ago. Whether social media is considered a channel or a strategy, the tools to support social media engagement with customers will only improve.

The list could be extended with more examples and arguments, but the point is to show that social media is not just influencing but is also the best thing that ever happened to CRM. Whether you agree or disagree please make sure to check out this very different perspective: “Social Media: The WORST Thing That Ever Happened to CRM”

Kristian Gotsch
Kristian Gotsch has more than 15 years experience within the world of CRM. As CRM Manager at the Eredivisie (Dutch Premier League), Kristian has a great interest in sports and CRM and is the founder of Loyalsticity. Prior to his current role Kristian held various CRM positions at T-Mobile, PwC and Microsoft. This is a personal rather than a corporate blog. My opinions reflect my own views rather than necessarily those of my employer.


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