But in spite of this technological transformation and progress in system architecture, all CRM systems essentially record transactional information using pre-determined fields on the screen (front-end) to capture information in the database, and company is in total control of conversation (should I say interrogation) with customer at every stage.

Thanks to rapid expansion of reach and effectiveness of Social Media channels, this is about to change. Social Media has empowered customers like never before as they can discuss about brands/products on Social Media channels and companies have no control over what customers are saying about their brands/products. This discussion is visible to all including other customers, potential customers and competitors.

The best any marketer can do is to Listen and Learn from what customers are saying and Engage them in meaningful conversations. In other words, treat Social Media channels as the front-end of CRM system, capture all relevant information from Social Media channels in the database and use Predictive Analytics and Knowledge Management tools to derive insights and help in decision making.

What is important to note here is that "Social" is not a middle-ware or another layer in the architecture of CRM systems, but is the front-end of CRM system, where customers decide the format and content of information.

It is responsibility of the company to record and store all relevant information from Social Media channels and derive value from it by using Predictive Analytics and Knowledge Management tools for effectively engaging customers.

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