News Alert: Customers are beginning to use social networks to communicate between themselves and with you. The conversations are happening with or without you. Whatever you want your brand to be known as or the language you want to be associated to your brand is no longer up to you.
How do companies deal with this? When the customer’s voice, in many cases, is louder than your own and when customer issues are put to public trial before you even know you’ve been charged with anything. Let’s call this defense (yes I’m excited that America’s favorite past-time has started this weekend). What about offense?
1. Now you can begin to understand who might be in the market for your product.
2. You might know when a customer is having issues with their product before they come to you (assuming they give you a chance to fix it).
3. Can you fix a produt flaw as customers begin to first talk about it
There are many other ways to take advantage of customers talking in online venues (see attached diagram from Altimeter Group’s research on SCRM released in March). Everyone from the industry can tell you that Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) will help companies figure all this out. The interesting part (as Jacob Morgan points out) is that companies don’t know to ask for a SCRM solution. In fact, even if you could buy a SCRM solution if probably would not matter all that much. SCRM is about much more than some piece of technology implementation. The keys to being effective with your CRM, whether social or not, lie in a company’s ability to capitalize on information as they get it. To be able to course correct in the midst of a product launch when it was not in the plans. That seems to be what SCRM is about. It’s the ability for companies to adapt to their customers rather than adapting to their internal technology paths. It’s the ability to re-think how data is captured, stored and analyzed to produce better information than what your overpriced sales dudes can provide for you.
These are the opportunities that SCRM make available for companies. Much like “getting a website” was to marketing in the mid 90′s, SCRM is a virtually untapped opportunity to differntiate your company…in your customer’s eyes. So we know the value that SCRM can bring, now what are you supposed to do? Unfortunately, there is not one answer that fits every situation. There are some guidelines to follow and there are even enough examples out there to begin to model successful efforts if you are able to find them. To help develop some better models and open us up to some expanded thinking on the topic is one of Altimeter Group’s famous business analysts/strategists, R “Ray” Wang. Ray brings well earned, highly respected insight to this discusssion on creating value in organizations through Social CRM. The title and questions are as follows:
Topic: SCRM and the Value to Organizations
Q1: What are the basic tenents of SCRM?
Q2: How can you begin to tie social into existing CRM?
Q3: Build a list of useful SCRM use cases.
This week’s event will take place Tuesday 9/7 at noon eastern. To participate simply follow #sm76 from any Twitter client or follow along from our LIVE page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com