Yes, you might not have even heard of social CRM, and could even be skeptical about it. It is at times, tough to distinguish the hype around social media from the genuine value it can bring. But social CRM isn’t a gimmick, and it doesn’t ask you to restructure the business or start anew! Social CRM simply adds a social dimension to the way you think about customers and your relationship with them.
What has been the scenario till date?
Until now, customers’ social media activity has been something of a closed book – a channel of communication that was not trackable, measurable, plannable or improvable. With social CRM, that has drastically changed. By adding the critical social media channel to your existing CRM systems, you can combine everything you already know about each customer, prospect and lead with new information about their social media activity. So when a customer decides to contact you via a social media channel like Twitter or Facebook, you can track and manage the conversation in as much detail as you would for a telephone or email enquiry. You can act faster, respond better and anticipate your customers’ needs.
Why is social CRM important these days?
So your marketing department is diligently creating and publishing tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and more – all carefully crafted to make the most of each channel and designed to encourage sharing, retweeting and customer engagement. But the audience isn’t paying attention.
Meanwhile, your customers are elsewhere on Facebook and Twitter, having conversations about your organization – discussing you, recommending you, complaining about you and even trying desperately to talk to you. But they aren’t getting the answers they want.
This is where social CRM plays a crucial role. A customer relationship management platform that integrates social media gives you access to the same level of insight you have for more traditional channels, plus the ability to use social tools for communicating internally. You can monitor, track and benchmark your social media communications using familiar tools, dashboards and metrics.
With social CRM you can place the customer right at the centre of your organization. No more forcing customers to use the channel you prefer! No more losing track of issues when they change channels! You can engage and respond to customers individually and in the way they choose, without compromising your ability to track and manage communications on a global scale. You have both a broad overview of your brand’s reach and a granular, detailed view of each customer interaction.
Customer service, marketing and sales all benefit from a more dynamic, complete picture of each individual customer, and can make use of social tools to communicate between themselves. Your customers see an organization that listens to what they want and responds in a way that suits them, across multiple channels. It is a win-win for everyone.
What are the benefits of social CRM?
The combined promise of reduced cost and increased effectiveness is a heady one for any marketer. And while social CRM has a valuable role to play in customer services and sales, it can also revolutionize your marketing effort. It can change your understanding of brand reach and perception, while giving you access to a wealth of new information about customer behavior and opinions. Social CRM can help you deliver:
- Greater exposure in the places where your audiences spend their time.
- Increased engagement and deeper relationships with customers.
- Increased web traffic and conversions and higher search rankings.
- High-quality inbound leads that turn into revenue faster.
- More efficient marketing budgets with higher returns.
- Faster marketing campaigns with better targeting.
So how can social CRM be of use to you?
One of the strongest elements of the business case for social CRM is the integration of business functions it allows, with sales, marketing and customer support all able to cooperate in an infrastructure based on the individual customer. But each discipline can also expect to see its own benefits.
Sales teams can expect to see an improvement in retained and referred business, as customers become recommenders and advocates; and that leads to increased revenue.
Marketers can use social CRM to increase reach and cut costs, while improving customer tracking and measurement.
By tracking and managing customer contacts across channels and business functions, customer service teams can deliver dramatically better service.
To sum up, social CRM can be used to:
- Deliver customer support via the social media networks your customers are using.
- Interact and engage with customers in real time.
- Talk to each other so that customers get the best help.
- Monitor social media for complaints and resolve issues quickly.
- Find and reward brand advocates and customers who help others.
There is no secret formula involved for customer service on social media. In fact it is an opportunity to get the basics right and provide excellent responses to customers in the way they choose. By enabling you to track social interactions with customers using the same sophisticated tools as you use for other touchpoints, you can deliver faster, more complete resolutions to customer service cases from across your business – and that means happier customers. Keep in mind that it is not only about reacting. Using monitoring and tracking tools, social CRM can help you to identify and reward brand advocates and influencers, encouraging them to spread the word still further.