Michael W. Thomas, Director of CRM &
Social Media Strategy at Neighborhood America, and President of the
National CRM Association gave a webinar on "Defining Social CRM".
The webinar discussed many pressing questions, and here are a few key points from Mr. Thomas:
1. What really is Social CRM?
Social CRM is the concept whereas companies are leveraging the social media functions to support their sales and customer service efforts. One example is of a company that creates an online community, one with social media functions in order to garner feedback, share ideas, and to provide customer service to it's clients. Using this information allows a company to enhance their products, correct mistakes, and to help formulate future business strategy based on the analysis of the communities collective interactions.
2. Understand how Social Media and CRM can coexist
Social Media and CRM must co-exist... the online communities, whether hosted by the company or externally, are actively affecting the companies products/services. The social customer is sharing opinions and ideas with others, and it only makes sense to harness this information to improve customer relationships. One real challenge at this time is how to best utilize this data, and Michael spoke about the use of a Business Intelligence layer/filter before loading this social media data into your CRM system for internal use and consideration.
3. Return on Investment when considering Social Media in your CRM Initiative:
Social CRM provides, at a fundamental level, the following benefits to the company:
- Lead Generation - New customers that participate in the social community can be targeted
- Brand Building - Providing another channel in which customers can exchange ideas and 'self help' or 'mutual help'
- Product Vision - Integrating customers' ideas for product enhancements and new products/services
- Retention - Listening and resolving customer issues with the companies products or services