Companies are increasingly taking the help of social media tools for marketing. Social networking is gaining importance as it can help to easily communicate, share information, and form new communities online. One of the hot selling concepts in CRM space is Social CRM and the interest in Social CRM applications continues to grow.
According to Gartner, while spending on social CRM remains less than 5% of all CRM, this area is hitting the top of the marketing and customer service department lists in terms of mind share. Social CRM applications are used by customers, as well as sales, marketing and service organizations, to support CRM processes. To be successful, social CRM must mutually benefit the customer and the company using it.
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Social communication pioneer Michael Fauscette defines Social CRM as ‘the tools and processes that encourage better, more effective customer interaction’. They leverage the collective intelligence of the broader customer community with the intended result of increasing intimacy between an organization and its prospects and customers. The goal is to make the relationship with the customer more intimate and tied to the company by building a public ecosystem to better understand what they want and how they interact with the various company touch points like sales, customer service etc.,
The transition of CRM to SCRM can be seen with the step of capability. The primary difference is ‘Control’ and ‘Interaction’:
· Control is more dispersed and customer defined
· Interaction is the focus rather than transaction. This is the most effective way for marketing professionals, salespeople, and customer service agents’ to develop meaningful relationships with customers
If the return from the investment on social networking has to materialize, than it has to be synchronized with the other core business processes and customer management initiatives. Else it is going to remain yet another failed buzzword. Key is to have a right mix of social sharing (or information), with data sensitivity. If you find that sweet spot, Social CRM’s benefits will grow exponentially.