Social customer relations management (CRM) is hot, and everybody knows it. But not everybody actually knows social CRM, even if they realize their organization should be engaging in it.
That’s because social CRM requires a different mindset than the way many business pros have gotten accustomed to thinking. Social CRM is not just CRM tied to social networking—it is CRM that fundamentally interacts with customers, which is different than the funnel approach of offering a product or service and then collecting customer info.
It is far more interactive. It is working with the customer.
This is the important step many businesses miss when they try and implement a social CRM strategy. They miss the collaboration aspect.
Let’s go over the four key uses of social CRM: targeting new business, retaining customers, collaborating with customers, and collecting and acting on the data that has been collected from social CRM.
Drumming up new business is of course a key marketing function. And this is helped by social CRM because it lets businesses peek in on customers and pitch their products or services. Social CRM can help with research and development by allowing companies to go where their customers are talking and listen and participate. This brings new business.
Social CRM also helps with retaining business. With social CRM, businesses can learn about customers and create more personalized online experiences.
There are many ways to collect this data about customers, from social media to tracking website usage to making it easier to allow the customer to start a conversation with the business by using a service, such as HoldFree’s Mobile Callback service. HoldFree’s Mobile Callback service lets smartphone app developers embed sophisticated callbacks right into their offerings.
This is somewhat understood about social CRM, though. What’s less understood is leveraging social CRM to actually collaborate with the customer on product and service development.
With social CRM, the customer can tell you exactly what they want. Talk with them. Learn from them. Businesses can now connect customers to each other and get better feedback than ever before, helping the buyer outline what the business should be offering.
Then, finally, there is taking what’s been learned, aggregating it, and taking action. Collaborating with customers is only useful if it results in action to deliver the products, services and modifications requested. So social CRM is more than just data, don’t forget: It is action. It is iterating products and services as customer needs become clear or evolve.
So while everybody knows they should be doing social CRM, not everybody actually knows it. But now you do.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman