Social CRM is about context

When people interact in the social world, everything is about context.

If I was having a conversation with a friend about the state of the economy and he suddenly said “pickles go great with peanut butter”, well, that would be weird.  Yet that’s what most businesses spend their time and marketing dollars on. The customer is going through their day with all sorts of worries, concerns, desires, dreams, and to-dos. The marketer comes along and says, “Look! A great deal on my widget that is totally unrelated!  Please buy!” No wonder businesses are falling apart.

CRM has sought to understand and refine sales pitches and processes based upon past customer behavior. But that method is old school. And alone, it is quickly losing effectiveness.

Social networking is 100% about what’s going on in the person’s mind–right now.  The merger of this is where the company leverages the social communities to discover the precise conversations and engage with customer right then.

I just Tweeted about a problem I was having with Hootsuite. My goal was to get a recommendation for another Twitter client to use. Before anyone else responded Hootsuite replied to me and tried to solve my problem. We had a conversation. And they kind of solved it.  But more importantly is that my search for a new platform virtually stopped. I’m thinking, “If a company is this fast and responsive with problems, maybe I should stick around.”

Key takeaway points:
1) Hootsuite was listening
2) They responded
3) They were personal
4) They tried to solve my problem
5) They started a reliable relationship

Consumers don’t expect perfection.  They crave acknowledgement and effort. They want their vendors to try and improve. They want engagement. Hootsuite won today.  I wonder how many other customer complaints entered the Twitterverse and went completely ignored?


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