Social CRM Networking Meets CRM
Social CRM networking tools aren't just for Facebook fanatics anymore. These days, consumers are demanding a higher degree of interactivity from customer-service departments. As a result, companies are being challenged to add online capabilities to their social CRM systems. Blogs, forums, wikis, and other social-networking tools can all help companies reach out to customers and boost business.
Today's social-networking technologies are invaluable to businesses hoping to stay on the cutting edge. By building a product-centric social CRM that encourages visitors to swap information and connect with other like-minded individuals, a company can gather crucial customer contact information and build a virtual community with social CRM.
- Then there is the blogging phenomenon. "For marketing, blogs work great to build brand equity and familiarity," said Timothy Hickernell, a senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. Whether introduced as part of an existing product site or as a dedicated minisite for a particular product, a blog can serve as a casual and conversational approach to addressing consumer concerns and building product loyalty.
- Companies can also use social CRM wikis to enhance customer relations. A wiki is a Website that allows users to freely create and edit content using any Web browser — without requiring HTML or other technical skills. "Wikis can be a cheap way to maintain a product
Web site for both marketing and for service" said Hickernell. Not to mention the value-add capabilities of wiki technology. For example, a food manufacturer can easily create a wiki-based Website that allows customers to contribute to a recipe database.
- Discussion forums, on the other hand, "are good for building customer communities around products and brands," said Hickernell. More than simply a destination for consumers to swap product information and tips, a discussion forum can be used to generate buzz around a product or service without a multimillion-dollar advertising budget. The right discussion forum can even increase sales revenue. According to research firms comScore Inc. and The Kelsey Group Inc., providing customers with online social CRM tools to review your company's site and products can boost sales.
Consumers are willing to pay 20 percent more for a service that received an "excellent" rating from fellow consumers than they are for the same service that received a "good" rating. And respondents said that reviews generated by consumers had a greater influence than those written by professionals.
But while online social CRM tools can engender a sense of community and brand loyalty among consumers, there is also a downside. For starters, Hickernell advised, "You do need to have strong moderation when you offer user-support forums to make sure bad discussion threads are removed immediately." After all, foul language, racist comments, and unflattering product reviews can "be very detrimental" to a company's customer relations, sales and image.
Furthermore, some companies fear that online social CRM tools wrest control of customer relations from the hands of seasoned sales representatives and account managers. "You would never want to learn that a $1-million-a-year customer is venting its service frustrations through your user forum. That's something the account manager needs to be on top of," said Hickernell.
How does social CRM software improve customer relations?
Social CRM software is similar to a database in which businesses gather and store information about their customers, including customers' contact information, their transactions, and customer interaction records, to help the sales and marketing teams win and retain customers.
Social CRM system software lets users track interactions with customers and leads, helping the sales optimization process, tech support, customer service, and marketing campaigns. Customer relationship management system software is a powerful tool to track customers' behaviors and demands, then swirl to meet them.
Social CRM system software improves customer interaction and social networking in 4 ways;
- It sends automated emails to customers
Automation is the most powerful feature of social CRM tools. Business owners can well-organized early communication with customers by sending automated responses. Customers get instant confirmation that their request has been received and answered. Canned email responses are a brilliant way to add links to FAQ pages, request forums, price lists, wikis, and other relevant documentation. These email responses reduce the number of basic questions—automated emails direct people to the resources you've already made.
- It creates consistent communication and engages them
Email templates make communication with customers convenient and consistent. When you compare social CRM systems for purchase, check the email templates and ask how customizable are they. Software CRM from sophisticated vendors allows users to create their own templates with the help of a drag-and-drop interface. The best social CRM tool offers excellent customer service and responds to queries. Social CRM creates consistent communication across all channels as well.
- It pulls reports
Quality social CRM software contains reports summarizing valuable analytics and key performance indications. Some systems even let administrators compare customer interactions depending upon the employee, allowing managers to notice which associates have the shortest and longest response times and who receives the most customer complaints. The best CRM system software has more options for pulling reports.
- It personalizes customer interactions
Another significant feature of CRM software is the ability to capture in-depth client information. Sadly, many companies spend money and time implementing social CRM systems without training employees and customer service agents to use the data at their fingertips. Call personalization is a bare minimum. Understanding the kind of business, the customer is in, reviewing past communication, and reviewing past orders can provide customer service agents, sales reps, and other customer-facing associates with real information on how to best communicate and interact with each customer.
How Social CRM Benefits Social Networking
Social CRM systems help businesses cultivate relationships with potential and current customers through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By engaging with customers on social media, businesses can build brand awareness, generate leads, and create loyalty programs that encourage customer retention. Additionally, social CRM systems can provide valuable insights into customer behavior that can help businesses improve their marketing and sales strategies.
- Builds brand awareness: social media is a powerful tool for building brand awareness. By engaging with customers on social media, businesses can increase their visibility and reach.
- Generates leads: social media can be used to generate leads. By interacting with potential customers on social media, businesses can create relationships that may lead to sales.
- Creates loyalty programs: social CRM systems can be used to create loyalty programs that encourage customer retention. By offering rewards or discounts to customers who engage with the business on social media, businesses can create loyalty and encourage customers to continue doing business with them.
- Provides valuable insights: social CRM systems can provide valuable insights into customer behavior that can help businesses improve their marketing and sales strategies. By tracking customer interactions on social media, businesses can identify patterns and trends that can be used to improve their marketing and sales efforts.
- Greater insight into customer behavior: social CRM systems provide businesses with valuable data about customer behavior. By analyzing this data, businesses can improve their marketing and sales strategies to better meet the needs of their customers.
- Social Listening: Social CRM systems also offer social listening features that allow businesses to monitor social media for mentions of their brand, products, or services. By monitoring social media, businesses can quickly address customer concerns and take advantage of positive customer sentiment.
- Sentimental Analysis: Social CRM systems can also help businesses to analyze customer sentiment. This type of analysis can provide valuable insights into how customers feel about a brand, product, or service. By understanding customer sentiment, businesses can make changes to improve the customer experience
In 2019 social CRM usage grew from 56% to 74%, so it's easy to understand that it's one of the most powerful tools available to businesses. To choose the best social CRM tool for your company, compare CRM reviews, features, pros and cons, read testimonials, check CRM ratings and read what the original buyers have said about the software to make a smart decision.
It's no wonder that industry stalwarts such as Oracle Corp and SAP have yet to introduce CRM software solutions with built-in online functionalities. "The mainstream CRM vendors are still somewhat behind in some of these capabilities," said Hickernell. Nevertheless, today's online social CRM tools can deliver greater interactivity that can strengthen customer relations.