Posts Tagged 'openness'

Why Business Must Change For Social CRM To Work

Social CRM is two words put together by people to describe what we WANT to happen. Social refers to social media technologies which is so far mostly consumers (ie. people) based.  And CRM refers to Customer Relationship Management which is primarily based on business processes.

Social CRM companies seek to combine these two disparate worlds and create new technologies that better meet the needs of businesses (profit, feedback, traffic) consumers (confidence, pleasure, interaction).  But it won’t happen by just trying to combine the two technologies as they are.

“Social CRM” will only be created from entirely new technologies.  Okay, existing technologies can be used but they need to be broken down and reassembled in completely new methods.

The basis of successful Social CRM platforms is to create new ecosystems where consumers and companies can interact as people not as business.  Consumers want to be social, personal,one-to-one, and intimacy.  Companies want to be big, broadcast, one-to-many, and “professional.”  This difference needs to be destroyed for Social CRM to work.  Seems like this would make a better world anyway.

One of my favorite times was shopping in Greece with small shop owners.  These are the guys that create, market, and sell their products.  There’s something very personal and comforting about this kind of shopping.  People crave this.  It’s missing online. Social media has brought back this ability to connect socially this way.  But the missing element is still connecting the social experience to profit.  Companies that want to tap into the power of social media as a way to build better customer relationships, they need to bring back this high-level of personal touch.

Part of the change is the structure of the technology and part of it is the methods of doing business.  For Social CRM technologies to emerge as profitable systems, companies need to focus on creating environments where customers can interact with the company and with other consumers. And the technologies must also focus on merging these two interactions.

Most businesses are scared of risk of encouraging these open, transparent discussions.  They try to control the “buzz” about their company to only release the positive and hide the negative–the politics model!  But this control and secrecy doesn’t work in social media where people prefer openness and transparency.

I think it’s better to open all the doors.  Be transparent.  When problems and complaints come up, address them immediately.  FIX THE PROBLEM instead of hiding it.  There’s a whole other discussion about this I won’t start today.

Bottom line: fix business first and then the social media technologies will easily connect with the CRM technologies to create meaningful customer experiences that ALSO benefits companies.