The Roadmap to SCRM, Part 3 of 5


Share on LinkedIn

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2.1 – Pivot Point
Part 2.2 – Business Functions

It is important to recap a couple of things that we said before:

  • The SCRM Strategy is composed of multiple sub-strategies, some of which you may already have in existence
  • The roadmap to SCRM is an iterative process, where you will re-visit many times each strategy and sub-strategy

Why am I emphasizing this? Because we are now at the rules layer of the model. There is no physical or quantum method you can leverage that will get it right the first time.  It will take several passes at each, improving from the good (and bad) experiences.

First, let’s bring up the chart on how to create a SCRM strategy for reference:

Creating a SCRM Strategy

Creating a SCRM Strategy

The rules layer is simple to explain, but takes a lifetime to master.

I won’t be able to do it justice in one single post and I don’t think I could address all the issues and questions in one sub-post for each.  This is becoming part of my research agenda for next year.  This post is only going to briefly touch in the high-level issues that affect SCRM, but more details will come next year.

The following chart shows the six different sub-strategies for the rules layer – in the order you should tackle them (from the inside out):

Layering Rules for SCRM Functions

Layering Rules for SCRM Functions

Segment – The  different groups of customers affected by a business function.  The critical aspect for SCRM is to go beyond the traditional revenue- or profit-driven segmentation and begin to consider social function, social channels, even reputations and rankings in different communities when building different segments.
Business Rules – Rules that govern how each of the business functions and processes will execute.  Some business rules may be mandated by compliance, some are controlled by industry-wide practices you must support to remain competitive.  Business Rules are implemented in conjunction with the other layers in this model, they cannot be implemented separately.  Social considerations for rules are aligning them with the policies and stated positions to become a social business.
Service Level Agreements – Service Level Agreements are about managing customers’ expectations.  SLAs are set at different levels by channel and segment.  Social considerations for SLAs are to adapt the delivery of specific functions to the new social channels (promise what you can do, then over-deliver.  If you cannot do, don’t promise).
Measurement – A measurement strategy is about the internal tools and metrics used to measure efficiency of business functions.   This is  done by correlation of metrics from the front-office processes (effectiveness metrics usually) with back-office metrics (performance metrics traditionally).  Social Considerations for measurement strategies are to accommodate the new metrics and KPIs for the newly deployed channels.
Feedback – Feedback is the external tools and metrics to measure effectiveness of business functions.  Deciding at what part in the process to collect feedback, and how to use it to measure the effectiveness of the process from the customer’s perspective, is also closely related to the Analytical sub-strategy. Social aspects of the Feedback collection are related to the inordinate amount of data collected in the new social channels and how to use the social channels to collect feedback.
Analytical – This is where a large part of my research will be next year.  The idea is how to control the very incredibly large amount of data and feedback collected in unstructured form, and use that to further the business.  This sub-strategy is about figuring how to create actionable insights, and what to do with them in a social business.

How does it work all together?

Building sub-strategies independent of each other will not yield any advantage over today’s methods for collecting and using data.  The key to using these components to create actionable insights is to focus on the client-expected outcome and mesh that to an existing or created experience, then look how the six elements above describe that process.

An example, if you are going to implement technical support:

  1. are you going to do it for all segments? who is entitled to it?
  2. how are you going to deliver it for each? what is the result? what data will you need? what data will you produce? how will you manage it? what will the results be? what business rules will apply to this function? for each segment?
  3. what service levels are you aiming to achieve? how will you set expectations? how will you manage those expectations?
  4. how will you measure the success? what metrics will you use to measure success? how will you know that the process is working internally?
  5. will you collect feedback? how will you know you are doing a good job? how will customers be able to improve the process? how will you use the feedback you collect?
  6. what insights could you gather from the completed process? what will you do with them? where will you apply them? where will the feedback go within the organization to become useful? how will the customers know they were listened to?

This is the point where you go back to the beginning of this post, scan through it again and come back to this exact point a second time and say

What is the difference between doing this and doing a traditional CRM implementation?

Some time ago I wrote my first post in SCRM.  The title was “Don’t call it Social CRM – just add Social to your CRM“.

Building a SCRM strategy or deploying it is no different from building a CRM strategy and deploying it – except for two tiny, tiny details: the volume of feedback you collect has increased by magnitudes in excess of 100X the original feedback you used to collect via surveys (and it is unstructured), and the emergence of communities (try a different mental picture).

This picture will give a more clear detail of what matters in SCRM — and also show you the reasons those two items are my research agenda for next year.

Focus Areas for SCRM

Focus Areas for SCRM

So, what do you think?  Any questions so far? Are we moving closer to mastering SCRM? Are you more confident about success with it?

Esteban Kolsky
ThinkJar, LLC
Esteban Kolsky is the founder of CRM intelligence & strategy where he works with vendors to create go-to market strategies for Customer Service and CRM and with end-users leveraging his results-driven, dynamic Customer Experience Management methodology to earn and retain loyal customers. Previously he was a well-known Gartner analyst and created a strategic consulting practice at eVergance.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here