Posts Tagged 'social crm'

Twitter died yesterday, what did you do?

Twitter got nailed yesterday like a 98 pound quarterback. It was so bad that it’s still spotty.  What happens when something so tragic occurs?  Well, I cried on my couch for an hour. Here’s how my day went…

First thing, I woke up and tried to tweet. Page Cannot Be Displayed. Arrgh.  Checked my connection and it was fine, so I Google “twitter down”.  There were only a few relevant results. Most of them from the past.  I thought, how would news be delivered immediately if Twitter is down?

Then I got to thinking.  So many people in such a short time have built entire businesses and marketing plans around Twitter.  It’s like the Gold Rush but more frantic and a little more stupid. Twitter is just a tool as is everything else. And clearly fallible.

How does this affect CRM?  Well, think about CoTweet, a great CRM tool for Twitter. Their business sucked yesterday. What happens to them if Twitter is attacked next week?  Great product, great company, terrible position to be in. What about all the businesses relying on CoTweet to handle their CRM needs?

The million (or billion) dollar problem is not accessibility and network stability. It’s using to few channels for building and managing customer relationships.  Twitter, Facebook, other social media sites are fantastic.  But they cannot be relied upon so heavily.

The promise of Social CRM is connecting companies to customers in the social networking space.  But that’s not enough. It needs to bridge the gap between online, offline, social, and automated communication. As well as sentiment and analytics of course. We need tools to help build better relationships all around. To transform fleeting digital profiles into real-live breathing loyal customers.

Thoughts?

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Fight, Fight, Fight! Social CRM battle on Twitter #scrm #crmus

This week was bloody. There was savagery in the Twitterverse. And it was awesome!

Here are some of the more vocal warriors:
Prem Kumar Aparanji
Mitch Lieberman (added!)
Brent Leary (oops, wasn’t involved…but still a sharp guy!)
John Moore
Esteban Kolsky

I loved this friendly “battle” because it was trying to solve a problem. I don’t think it was solved but it sure was fun and got everyone thinking. Isn’t that the purpose of any great conversation?

The discussion was over the nomenclature for Social CRM.  One side said it’s Social CRM (#scrm) another side said it’s CRM Using Social (#crmus). Still others said it’s #ivehadenoughofthisarguementcantwealljustgetalong. I doubt the actual term matters much. Semantics are important. But cart before the horse.

Just a few days prior, everyone is discussing what social CRM even IS?  How can you determine semantics unless you know the definition and purpose!  One of my consulting clients is in the same boat. They’ve launched a new social platform for he medical industry.  It seems every day they are trying to come up with the terminology for the web UI. But most of the discussion is actually trying to figure out the true benefits and function of the platform!

HOW WILL PEOPLE USE IT?

This is the one question that needs asking to determine the semantics and nomenclature. The key to developing excellent terminology is discovering the user’s mindset while using the tool.

In regards to Social CRM.  How will people use these tools?  More importantly, how do they WANT to use the tools?  I don’t think there are any great Social CRM tools out there yet. People are integrating social tools and CRM tools. But it’s more than just a simple API integration. This new Social CRM era must be rethought.  Kind of like Google Wave.

It will be another year before these definitions get nailed down. So many companies are trying desperately to build tools that are effective and useful. But the market mindset seems to change every day.

Maybe the answer is not to build “new” tools but to look at the way people have been interacting forever and build tools that reflect those attitudes and behaviors.

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?

Social CRM is Like Sex

Great post by George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research

Title kind of says it all!

I swear this isn’t plagerism!

Okay, so I just ran across a great blog from Christopher Carfi.  It’s called The Social Customer Manifesto.  Sheesh.  I practically copied his blog name!

I actually have never seen this blog before so I can still sleep well knowing I didn’t completely rip him off.  The relief though is that we are talking about slightly different things.  I haven’t read all his stuff but he seems to focus on the actual customer.  I’m more focused building better systems. I love it!  I’m looking forward to digging into Christopher’s stuff.

Social CRM is about the customer.  Hands down. We need to understand their needs, desires, nuances, temperaments, and everything else about them. And we need good systems that help us digest, analyze, and use the information in a profitable way.

I’m still working on the Social CRM Manifesto. Until it’s done, let’s ponder Christopher’s Social Customer Manifesto.

How Raving Fans Can Make Or Break You

Excellent story that’s played out time and again.  I can tell a hundred just like it.  When you disappoint a Raving Fan… : Never Stop Marketing

The big lesson is that everything you do has the potential to create raving fans or raving lunatics.  You want the former talking about your brand.  But reality shows that the latter are usually louder.

The big question is how to monitor, track, digest, interpret, and separate these voices into meaningful analytics.  How can we manage these relationships in a social context.  We need to go beyond watching pages of Twitter feeds and explore semantics, intent, emotion, and other nuances of social conversation.

That’s what we need to think about.

If I hear it one more time…

I use Google Alerts to watch certain search terms.  Every day I get an email with the latest blog and web content with the term “Social CRM.”  Roughly every other day there is a post somewhere about Twitter becoming Social CRM.  What?!  If I hear that one more time I’m going to vomit!

Customer Relationship Management

That’s what CRM stands for.  Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, and even LinkedIn are more about people watching that managing relationships.  And Twitter is the worst offender of all of them!  Facebook and LinkedIn have at least built in some features to interact and move toward the “management” of relationships.

Twitter is an awesome tool, no doubt. I tweet almost every day.  But it is not CRM.  It will never be CRM.  And what’s worse is all the talk about it distracts us from finding the real meaning and execution of Social CRM.

Use Twitter for what it is.  A massive dynamic and honest forum to monitor the vibe of your product and company in the marketplace. It is not a useful tool for building and managing trustful relationships that result in sales.

Please stop.  Let’s have more meaningful conversations instead of trying to get good search rankings by putting Twitter, Twitter, Twitter in web content.