You want to know what Salesforce.com’s (News - Alert) doing about social media as it relates to CRM, and you’ve heard they have this thing called Chatter, what’s up with that? Industry observer Maria Verlengia has a long portrait of CRM as social media company, the whole long study is well worth a read when you have the time.
In brief, she says that the thinking at Salesforce.com is summed up well by Fergus Griffin, vice president of product marketing at Salesforce.com, who notes that, in Verlengia’s words, “Social CRM can improve customer service by turning problems and issues into success stories, and allow customer service to become more integrated with the sales and marketing process.”
Scott Holden, senior director of product marketing at Salesforce.com, told her that with social media, "It's more transparent. We're creating a transparent world." The new customer experience is "all public."
So companies have to treat customers differently, and among other shifts, the use of mobile devices is also having a big impact -- “they can share bad experiences more quickly,” Griffin warned.
These days companies track trends in Twitter and Facebook (News - Alert) and can also use Salesforce.com to track social analytics. As Verlengia says, “Social CRM deepens customer service by allowing companies to monitor more conversations and to monitor them anywhere. Customer service becomes more like marketing with public interaction, noted Griffin.
Salesforce.com can track the level of interaction by product, Griffin said, explaining that multi-product tracking includes tracking across various Twitter handles and routing issues to the proper agent. And while yes, companies can use social media to put out fires, Griffin told Verlengia, “they can also be proactive by making social part of the customer service process.”
Salesforce.com is “doing a lot of interesting things in social CRM," Brent Leary, cofounder and partner of CRM Essentials, told Verlengia. "When they came out with Chatter, they really moved to the forefront."
Chatter offers a Facebook-like feed -- there’s an unusual model to take -- that can be used internally behind a firewall, Leary explained, adding that this allows more collaboration and information sharing within a company: "Chatter makes that happen."
The way Holden explained it to Verlengia, Chatter “helps bridge the gap between sales and service because marketing people frequently become the first people aware of customer service issues. In addition, it helps give sales representatives a fuller view of the customer. Because marketing people are on the bleeding edge of social media, they are the ones who encounter customers with support issues.”David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny