5 Lessons Social CRM Can Learn from CRM

5 Lessons Social CRM Can Learn from CRM

5 Lessons Social CRM Can Learn from CRM

Social CRM systems are highly advantageous for companies of all types and sizes. CRM can not only be used to store, organize, and leverage customer data but can also be used to build strong customer relationships.

In recent years, the concept of social CRM has become very popular as more and more customers turn to social channels to learn more about brands, engage with companies, and make purchasing decisions where they're already spending time online.

5 Lessons Social CRM Can Learn from CRM

We can learn five important lessons before we start implementing Social CRM solutions:

Lesson 1: Social CRM is a Strategy

Social CRM is a business strategy, it is not technology, tools, or platform. Social CRM can be defined as the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with the goal of building trust and brand loyalty.

CRM too started out as a business strategy, but once software vendors came out with an application to address social CRM requirements and called it "CRM Application", CRM became more of a tool than a strategy. As a result, limitations and failures of tools became that of CRM - earning CRM its bad name.

So the first lesson is that Social CRM is a business strategy. A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. Social CRM is a plan of action to build trust and loyalty. Calling Social CRM "technology", "system" and "processes" is a misnomer.

While executing Social CRM (strategy), technological tools will be used to achieve the goal - but tools are different from the plan. It is very important to remember this distinction between strategy (plan) and tools (technology and systems). 

It is important to have clearly defined and objective goals before selecting social CRM tools and technology. Not the other way around, else limitation of tools will become a limitation of your goals and strategy.

Lesson 2: Optimize Business Processes

The reason, why many of the CRM implementations failed over the last decade, is that the underlying CRM-related business processes were not re-engineered or optimized for the CRM system.

As a result, social CRM systems became more of a drag on the employees using it. And to force them to use it, many companies resorted to a "carrot and stick" policy to force employees to enter information in the CRM system. Naturally, the word "CRM" quickly became unpopular. This could have been avoided had the underlying business processes been re-engineered or optimized before implementing the social CRM solution.

Lesson 3: Data Quality is Very, Very (and Very) Important

Any information system is only as good as the data in it. We have all heard of the phrase "Garbage in, garbage out" and this aptly describes why some of the CRM implementations failed. Not enough care was taken to ensure data quality.

Quality is critically important for both, transactional and non-transactional data. This is especially true for Social CRM as the volume of data emanating from Social Networks can be huge and as people use multiple accounts & profiles on Social Media channels. It is very important to have a data governance framework and best practices in place before implementing a Social CRM solution.

Lesson 4: Leverage Analytics

Another key lesson we can learn is to leverage analytics. Thanks to their CRM systems, organizations were able to collect a vast amount of data and have a 360-degree view of their customers, but the same data could have been used much more effectively by applying predictive analytics.

Before implementing a Social CRM solution, we should have a clear idea of how we are going to use the information collected and how we can apply advanced analytics not only to analyze the past but also to predict the future consumer behavior and fix problems before they become a crisis.

Lesson 5: Project Ownership and Leadership

In any large and complex project with multiple stakeholders, it is very important to have a clearly identified "owner" and an effective "leader" who will be responsible for the success of the social CRM project.

The absence of "clear" ownership and "effective" leadership is a recipe for disaster. This may sound common sense, but you will be surprised to learn how many organizations attempt to implement CRM solutions without first having in place a project owner and/or effective leader. This is all the more important for Social CRM as multiple stakeholders like Marketing, PR, IT, and Legal are involved. It is very important to clearly highlight roles and responsibilities, procedures and protocols for each involved department/person before implementing a Social CRM solution.

Benefits of Social CRM

1. Win More Business: A social CRM will give your sales and marketing teams the ability to connect with customers and prospects on social media platforms like never before. This increased visibility and engagement will help you win more business.

2. Build Stronger Relationships: A social CRM will help you build stronger relationships with your customers by allowing you to connect with them on a deeper level. You'll be able to quickly and easily address any concerns they have, and keep them updated on new products, services, and promotions.

3. Increase Customer Loyalty: By building strong relationships with your customers, you'll be able to increase customer loyalty. They'll be more likely to continue doing business with you, and recommend you to others, if they know that you're always there for them.

4. Boost Sales and Revenue: A social CRM can help you boost sales and revenue by making it easier to connect with potential customers and close more deals. With the right social CRM in place, you'll be able to take your business to the next level.

5. Improve Customer Service: A social CRM will also improve customer service by giving you the ability to quickly and easily resolve any issues they have. Customers will appreciate the fact that you're always available to help them, and this will lead to repeat business.

6. Get a Competitive Edge: By implementing a social CRM, you'll be able to get a competitive edge over your competitors who are not using this powerful tool. You'll be able to better connect with your customers and prospects, and win more business.

7. Save Time and Money: A social CRM can save you time and money by automating many of the tasks associated with customer relationship management. This will free up your staff to focus on more important tasks, and improve efficiency overall.

8. Increase Efficiency: A social CRM will increase efficiency by automating tasks and making it easier to manage your customer relationships. This will lead to improved productivity and profitability for your business.

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