Many organizations and individuals have had the opportunity to access and understand their customer relationships, but how does social media change customer relationships? In fact millions have been invested in monolithic implementations which may not be able to manage the complexity or drive value from the changing customer dynamics. Will/does social media drive loyalty or materially revenue? Will your CRM system be able to scale to the need? This post will ask more questions than provide answers. Or perhaps the post will imply answers through the questions.
Significant investments in CRM applications over the past decade and continues to drive improved understanding and value, but is there an expiration date on your CRM application? Does CRM need to morph in to Social Customer Relationship Management? I know it needs to have a 3 character acronym, but nevertheless it may just represent the next Killer App. A CRM application that provides a way to support social attributes of your customer, it involves identity, influence and managing against infinite consumer personas.
So let’s just think about the benefits of thinking social when deploying a CRM solution:
Through the ability to enable customers to manage their own data is a core value of the customer self-service, I know how late 90’s of me, but isn’t this the value of social networks too? Who, Where, Why and How are typically why social networks exist and infrastructures for managing users. The benefits of using Facebook, openID or another identity framework allows for not only better management options, but richer attributes as they relate to relationships and transactions outside of an enterprise. What is the value of where they participate? Is there any value in the content they create? Is this even worth knowing?
Customer relationships are complex things – they drive revenue, they impact profitability and can defer revenue and the social customer is a growing influence on ALL of these. If there is a shared identity or a better understanding of the influence of a user, marketers can use this data to prioritize online ad spend and drive a focused social media agenda, rather than the almost product centric or the other extreme – the buzzword shotgun approach. What is the value of linking a customer user to the online rantings of a user on a forum? What is the value of knowing what their interests are?
Customer Persona’s are just Tiers or Use Cases – A new business Model
Old world CRM manages customers by products, groups or companies – not by the myriad interactions which are not unique to a given business, but driven by relationship, interactions and membership. These items effectively are the spatial relevance of a user and the value of place online. As we drive value from online relationships the complexity of a user is no longer the product, the company or service requests a user places, but something else. CRM is so centered on the revenue and costs of a customer, rather than the value a customer brings to an organization.
Where do your customers congregate, contribute and have conversations online and how can a business leverage this would be a benefit of SCRM. How can we prioritize effort, spend and relationship management of customers – more specifically their employee users on the value they bring to the business beyond the credits and debits. This is the challenge or business issue which a Social Customer Relationship Management solution would solve, not just orders and support tickets.
So where is our Seibel Facebook App?