Social CRM: Is It Really a Must?

Updated: September 05, 2014

Social CRM: Is It Really a Must?

As you probably already know, the use of social media is critical to any business marketing and customer relationship strategy. Gone are the days when you could ignore Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, hoping they were just passing fads. If you aren't active on any of these sites, you could lose millions or more in potential revenue for your organization. So, when it comes to CRM, everyone is talking about and adapting to using social CRM. But, what is it really?

 

Traditional CRM

Any client-facing or client-interacting company needs a well-organized CRM system to help you keep track of client data, conversations, transactions, shipping details, sales pipelines and more. It just isn't efficient to spend hours perusing customer files before you reach out to them. With a CRM system, it takes you minutes to get all of their information in order to get up-to-speed with their current standing with your company. It also helps you to keep better track of your sales and marketing teams regarding projected and expected sales results.

With the traditional CRM system, communication was usually one-way communication between you and the customer. Essentially, you would take your marketing, sales, service and support records as the basis for future conversations. The client did not really have a say regarding the topic of discussion, you lead that arena since you had all the data in your hands. Your goal was the move the client through the sales pipeline and keep them coming back for more.

 

Social CRM Foundation

Today, social CRM is more than a customer relationship management system, it is a strategy. It is centered around customer engagement and interactions. Transactions are now a byproduct as opposed to being the driving force. It is a key facet to building a more collaborative business both internally and externally. You can use social CRM for engaging with your employees, as well as your clients. And, it utilizes social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn with the idea of searching for company mentions and then interacting with the users.

So, instead of only working internally to solve business problems, social CRM gives you the opportunity to work with clients to do so instead. As they say, the customer is always right. Well, perhaps not always but they can provide an outside point of view to benefit your company in the way of improvements that other customers might appreciate, as well. Given that close to 100 percent of customers want businesses involved in social media, it makes sense. And, it isn't exactly a new form of CRM, it is more of the way that traditional CRM has evolved.

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Related Content: Check out our Social CRM Comparison Guide

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What Are The Benefits?

Improving customer service

Many clients now take to social media to air their grievances about a company. Why? Because they feel it is the best platform for getting their voices heard. It is certainly more cost-effective than rounding up a large group of people inside or outside their home. They can reach millions through social media, and so can you. With SCRM, you have the opportunity to listen to and respond to complaints. You might not even realize some of the frustrations customers have with you. Moreover, it is much less expensive and time-consuming than making specified phone calls where the clients might not have the time or desire to talk to you. With SCRM, you can answer in real-time, which might benefit less vocal clients, as well.

Prevention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is also the case with SCRM. Being proactive is a lot easier than being reactive. You can use SCRM to scour the web for mentions about your company, including posts that sound similar to complaints. The accounts don't even have to be owned. You can address potential issues head on, thereby improving your reputation in the process. Plus, clients feel that you are more relatable when you reach out to them and not stuck in some ivory tower where you don't hear any of their grievances.

Build communities around your brand

Who doesn't like word-of-mouth advertising or referrals? They're the best form of marketing a company could ask for. You can use hashtag campaigns for Twitter, or your Facebook page as a place for clients to share their experiences and communicate with one another. This form of sharing gives clients the access to your company that they want, and help you understand them better, as well. All of this input can be place into your SCRM system for consistent monitoring and response management. Moreover, you can use social media for posting exclusive deals for your clients or offering rewards for customer loyalty.

Social CRM is here to stay and with good reason. It truly gives you valuable insight that would be difficult to get through phone or in-person surveys. With social media, people feel safer speaking their mind, good or bad. How you use that data to your benefit, is up to you.
 

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