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Customer Relationship Management and Social Media; evolution, convergence or both?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Social Media; evolution, convergence or both?

IBM, the world’s oldest IT company who have done exceptionally well re-inventing themselves have this to say, “…the integration of social media with customer relationship management (CRM) strategies – is the next frontier for organizations that want to optimize the power of social interactions to get closer to customers. ”

What new challenges have arisen with this latest development?

  • Is your marketing and sales team managing your social presence? Is it not best managed by a customer care representative?
  • Is the social team apt in not just product and service knowledge, but equipped with troubleshooting skills and access?
  • Is the customer experience in social just lip service, is it solving customer problems?
  • Is your social presence plugged into the Customer Relationship processes you have in place?

Now, while we know the mantra about the customer being the boss, in reality a company’s executive’s corporate responsibility is to its shareholders first, if they can skim a buck, they will, welcome to capitalism. However things are getting interesting, with the rise of social media, the shift of power from shareholders to customers is gaining momentum. Also adding to this is a shift from customers with bigger buying power to customers with little to no buying power, everyone now harbors the potential for a bad customers experience to go viral, no organisation can now afford to ignore an upset customer, in any channel.

Is the internet age forcing organizations to become customer orientated now?

As a customer, when I interact with an organization, I am dealing with them, through whatever channel they have made themselves available on, in turn, I expect them to have records of my communications on whatever channel they have opted to have me engage them with. Question now is, are CRM systems being integrated with Social Media customer experience, or are the CRM systems merely introducing social community features for the help givers using the system? Is that real social integration?

On the surface it is fair to surmise that CRM and Social Media are different, but when you get down to the nitty gritty most basic building blocks, you have customer experiences, the two are feeding on each other and it is therefore no surprise that the two are converging.

Each customer is unique, cannot be treated as generic, sure we might get problems that can be treated the same way, but customer service is about identifying the customers uniqueness, making sure you understand where they come from, and engaging in immediate resolutions by the communicators, not passing the buck and paying lip service.

If you have a customer care system, does it integrate with social? Is it being managed by customer care or lip serviced with marketing? Don’t be shy to ask Dogdish for a demo of a CRM that truly converges with Social Networks.

Having said all this, are you ready for the next frontier, Gamification of all this?

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