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The social dimension of customer relationships III

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By Mark Atterby

social-crmSocial CRM is about generating conversations and dialogue with prospects to build higher value customer relationships. That’s higher value for the customer as well as the organisation. Social media is not simply a vehicle to push out content and your messaging, but a mechanism to receive feedback from customers that can be analysed and used to improve customer strategies.

Regardless of what specific strategies you implement, one thing is for certain, you will need to allocate and train dedicated staff or contact centre teams to be Social CRM specialists.

Social CRM, when implemented properly, allows you to understand what is important to your prospects and customers and what influences their buying decisions. Customers annoyed or frustrated with poor service will vent their displeasure on social media. Making their grievances public and sharing them with their network allows them to finally be heard.  One poor experience can affect the reputation of the organisation with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of others.

In building you Social CRM strategy, don’t get too caught up with the technology. Technology is important, you will need it to automate as many processes as you can. But the most important thing to consider is the goals you want to achieve and defining the processes.

How do you turn a conversation into a customer

There are numerous approaches to Social CRM you can deploy depending on the nature of your business and customers.

If people are complaining about a product or service than you can safely assume they are a customer and the conversation needs to be tracked in a CRM system for later reference and analysis.

Regardless of what specific strategies you implement, one thing is for certain, you will need to allocate and train dedicated staff or contact centre teams to be Social CRM specialists.

The key social media activity where CRM intersects is with listening and monitoring conversations. There is a lot of noise created through social media. Sifting through this deluge and identifying the right voice and conversations to respond to, is one of the top challenges.

Your social media agents will need to listen, monitor and filter relevant conversations about the brand and its customers. They then need to assess whether a response is required and if a response is required does that need to be included in a CRM workflow i.e. are they responding to a customer or potential prospect.

If people are complaining about a product or service than you can safely assume they are a customer and the conversation needs to be tracked in a CRM system for later reference and analysis. The difficulty becomes that the name they use on their social media accounts may not directly correlated with the information you have stored as a customer.

Or if there is a conversation where someone is asking for an opinion about a product or service, this is likely to become a lead or sales opportunity. Organisations need to listen very keenly to differentiate and prioritise various conversations.

There are a plethora of tools on the market to help organisations monitor their social media interactions, but it’s about building the skills and processes to utilise them effectively that presents the greatest challenge.

That’s why one of the biggest growth areas for BPO providers in recent years has been social media monitoring and listening, and integrating these activities with other customer channels and CRM systems.
April 1, 2015
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