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Social Customer Relationship Management (sCRM) Explained

(posted on April 29, 2011 at 11:05 am by Sarah)
Social Customer Relationship Management (sCRM) Explained

Most companies these days are involved on the social front and maybe it’s you who are monitoring, filtering, answering and most importantly, branding, the ‘Company’. Getting involved socially and understanding your customers will only catapult your business and its reputation to the next level. Although social customer relationship management (sCRM) is a necessary part of any marketing plan, it hasn't been completely defined...yet.

Your customers are social. People love the iPad and Zoom and practically take it with them to meetings and out to dinner. Tweet streams are checked a couple times an hour and tracking services for social media are used to see, count, analyze and filter followers, fans and yes, voyeurs. Social customers consume digital information in a variety of ways, whether it be through the 'norms', Twitter and/or Facebook, or through group coupon alerts, check-ins or now, sup'd up Google Places pages. Social beings (us) learn and trust reviews by networks. No Review = No Buy, in most cases. If you expect your top brand picks to be in your social circle... so do your customers. Social customers are the boss and (for the most part) are leading the conversation, are you listening?

Author, Mr. Greenburg, stated that Social CRM is, “…designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide a mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. It’s the company's response to a customer’s owning of the relationship.” Providing the tools to engage, interact and respond (quickly!) fosters a sense of ‘intimacy’ between you and your customer, enabling a window of trust and security. Don’t miss out on this window of opportunity, for it too shall pass and you’ll be left wondering what the heck happened to the conversation, or lack thereof. There are no more excuses for ‘turning off’ or ‘tuning out’.

Get involved, be present, like what you do. Learn about your competition, follow them socially, connect and be engaging, locally. Socializing your organization doesn't mean allowing everyone to ‘tweet’ or ‘post’ whatever, whenever. Take control over your social media policy, your brand depends on it and your organization will benefit from a little policy. Creating a ‘social culture’ within any organization requires much thought, dedication and (sometimes) a complete change in traditional ‘thinking’. Much has been written about the 'future' of social media and the reasons why some businesses are successful, while other fail miserably at being 'social'. The social customer may use Twitter to post a question, Facebook to blast a compliment, or Yelp to post a review. Do you know how to adequately handle a positive and/or negative response? That may be half of the battle. The processes you establish for your sCRM will largely determine your ability to respond quickly and accurately, while maintaining your social brand persona.

Fight the 'social disconnect' and venture into the unknown, as social CRM is now part of daily life. Today's business leaders know that social media isn't 'where it's at' completely, rather social media needs to be adopted into the online and offline marketing plan to ultimately be successful and worth it in the end. Customer relationship management spans from your customer service on the phone, to your customer service on your social media outlets...and everything in between. In other words, multi-channel marketing efforts is where it's at.

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