Lately there has been many conversations in Twitter and blogs about the definition of Social CRM. These conversations have been possible by the following 3 posts (Jeremiah Owyang, Paul Greenberg, Brian Solis, respectively):
- The Future of Twitter: Social CRM
- Is Twitter Social CRM? Nope.
- Twitter and Social Networks Usher in a New Era of Social CRM
Not only these industry leaders (Jeremiah, Paul and Brian) have good insights, but many CRM and Social Media vendors are starting to integrate their applications -- Neighborhood America and Microsoft, salesforce.com ServiceCloud and SAP/Business Objects integration of Business Objects with Twitter (many CRM vendors are starting to provide Social Media interfaces and communities within their solutions). Plus many Twitter apps like CoTweet are HootSuite are now providing CRM functionality.
We see Social Media as additional channels to manage the customer besides your traditional CRM channels: bill statements, web site, chat, call center, email, etc. The only difference is that within the Social Media channels you have no control. The customer controls the interaction and the conversation. However, you still need traditional CRM to manage transactions and interactions based on those conversation within the Social Media channels.
Traditional CRM and Social Media are in a process of convergence - your company will need to figure how to manage all these channels to engage the customer effectively. Your CRM platform and strategy must be in place in order to manage the processes, people and technology needed to manage customers via Social Media channels.
Our social networking partner, Neighborhood America takes the approach that Social CRM is about the customer strategy. Their specific messages can be heard on the upcoming webminar - Defining Social CRM. (April 14, 2-3pm). Make sure you participate. Some of the key points that they will cover are:
- what is really Social CRM
- understand that Social CRM and traditional CRM coexist
- the Social Customer is in control
- social CRM does not replace CRM
We will be blogging the webminar both in Spanish and English.
Our last thought... CRM has always being social. However, in the past companies had control of the traditional channels, now the customer is in control of the Social Media channels making CRM more visible to the "social customer".