Merging Social Media With CRM

Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Business Management [ 2 Comments ]

Social media is the hottest craze since the advent of the Internet, but for good reason. For the first time, businesses are not only able to understand what people are saying about them, but interact with them. Social CRM is an extension of traditional small business social media use by fostering customer engagement with business on social channels. Traditionally, social media was used by businesses as a tool for brand management, but it has become a robust application for knowledge and strategic decision-making. According to a report by Gartner, Drew Kraus, VP of Research says, “In 2010, only 5 percent of organizations took advantage of social/collaborative customer action to improve service processes; however, customer demand and heightened business awareness is making this a top issue among customer service managers.”

Currently, social CRM is in its infancy. Only a handful of companies are using applications, but with in the next two years, 30% of industry shaping enterprises will incorporate social CRM.

Customer service is rapidly becoming an area for sustainable competitive advantages. However according to Gartner, many companies are still uncertain about the technology and how it can improve their customer service initiatives, “adding social CRM for customer service, to their operations has the potential to add high profile uncertainty, and many will hold off on bringing the new technology into their contact centers until optimized process and policies have been vetted by earlier adopters.” Since inbound call center technology is rapidly changing, businesses are waiting to become more familiar before jumping in full force.

Large corporations aren’t the only ones jumping on the social CRM bandwagon, SugarCRM found that 72% of the surveyed SMB’s planned to link data from social networks into their CRM software this year. However, only 26% had done so at the time of the study.

Customer services will likely change face, as new tools to monitor and foster relationships are developed. The defining business trend is listening to and working around customer needs, to ensure happy customers. Technology should drive your customer relationship management practices, and give employees the tools to engage with customers on any channel necessary.

Image Credit: CollectiveIntellect

2 thoughts on “Merging Social Media With CRM

  1. avatarAmanda

    Great article. I’m actually taking a retail management class (#mkt4760) with @dr4ward. He’s been teaching us a lot about social media and how retail businesses (and businesses in general) need to start hopping on board the social media train, if they haven’t already.

    We’ve recently begun discussing CRM as well and how social media could take it in a different direction. Using sites like twitter to keep track of customers likes and dislikes is a great way to stay on top. Twitter users notice when a company doesn’t “follow” them back or take notice of a compliment/complaint.

    The companies that are creating profiles for these social media sites now will have a good chance of staying ahead of customer needs and wants. What better way to find out information about the customer.

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