Social CRM and You

4 Oct

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, has long been known as the broad term covering sales and marketing strategies that segment and target potential, new, and current customers in order to create seemingly personal messages and sell more products.

Sounds like an old, worn out strategy? What if social media is thrown into the mix? This gives us Social CRM- a new way to find out what customers want, and most of the time these customers are eager to let companies know what they think.

According to Maria Ogneva, today’s “social customer” is not easily fooled by online gimmicks, does her research on products and services, voices opinions (both good and bad), and expects someone (probably you as a corporate communicator) to respond quickly to her comments. The chart in Ogneva’s article shows that Social CRM looks a lot like a traditional two-way communication model. The customer uses social media to communicate with the company, and the company responds. New technology can make these electronic exchanges feel like an everyday face-to-face conversation.

Social CRM isn’t a specific tool or practice; it’s about integrating social media into the CRM plan in order to understand and analyze what customers say online. In a report by Altimeter Group on Social CRM, Ray Wang and Jeremiah Owyang say that social CRM can add value by reconnecting the company with customers who have strayed and prefer to talk only with other customers. CRM can be as simple as Facebook or Twitter, or your company can use applications to track the activities of your customers. Salesforce, Oracle, and Microsoft are some of the technology companies that have created online CRM programs in the past few years. Depending on the size of your company, these applications, or even simple social media, can create new data about your customers by just listening to what they say. In the current technological world of blogs, tweets, pokes, and likes, there is a way that social CRM can be used to benefit your company.

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4 Responses to “Social CRM and You”

  1. Elizabeth Baugh October 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    I like the link you included of Maria Ogneva’s. She has an interesting point about not falling for online gimmicks. When you relate that to social media trends, the point is even more clear. Companies do have to constantly come up with new tactics since people no longer fall for the same tricks. Well Done!

  2. Samantha Platania October 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    I think it’s funny how we are looking for more personal relationships online… seems like an oxymoron. I think it’s definitely true though, we expect a lot from companies that we do business with. I think similar standards should apply online as they would if we were actually shopping in their store, or contacting them directly. I really enjoyed reading this!

  3. Colleen Callery October 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Its really interesting to me how there is no perfect CRM standard, but its more flexible and fluid depending on personal customer relationships and specific customer needs. I think its also important to remember not to use social media just because its the “new thing,” but to make sure it is actually helping you achieve business and communication goals. Corporate comm practitioners need to be just as weary of falling for “gimmicks” as customers are.

  4. Paige Zanelli October 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Sarah-
    I believe social media is a great asset for a marketer. I like what you said about people being more than willing to share their idea’s. If companies were able to see exactly what people are saying about their products and have more conversations with individual customers, they will be better able to market their products.

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