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Social CRM is on the rise, most people seem to forget the simple fact that while the medium as a whole is growing at a rapid pace it’s not maturing fast enough. Companies are slow when it comes to responding to change in market environment – you could say that the toolkit outgrew the user.
Social CRM has the potential to become the dominant “doctrine” but companies need to stop making the same mistakes.
Focus on the Customer.
Companies can’t ignore the fact that in order for social CRM to evolve they need to switch the focus from a traditional Company-Customer relationship to Customer-Customer interaction. Make sure that the customers can interact freely, don’t engage them, provide them a channel to express their opinions and listen. Gauge their interests, what sparks the most heated discussions and be subtle with product placement.
Influence and value.
Thanks to many Social Media analytics you can understand the flow of influence. But influence doesn’t equal value for the customer. In order for social CRM to advance the customer needs to be included in the process of value creation, it should not be acting as support for transactions.
It’s not a new concept.
CRM as a whole is not a new concept, so why is the industry approaching Social CRM as if it was? Oh so it’s different because you want to engage the customers at their “hang outs”. Well lets assume your enterprise manages to “hang out” with the customers and after the initial contact you “stop calling” – that’s the most common and biggest mistake, don’t leave them hanging. Those are the people that most of the time fail at the traditional touch-points (call center, company web-site).
Catching the wave and misinformation.
Enterprises need to step back and get a clear view on that types of value should the social media channels generate. If you try to catch that Social CRM “wave” without a solid plan you are bound to fail. Most are incorporating the platform without the slightest idea on what to do and what to expect, wasting resources and energy on just setting it up. To add insult to injury there are plenty of analyst companies that willingly spread misinformation which confuses and scares companies even more.
For Social CRM to mature the industry has to mature as well – embrace the customer-customer relationship.