Forrester defines social CRM as the way customers buy from and interact with organizations of all types through social media. In its recent paper "Social CRM Goes Mainstream," Forrester shines a new light on customer relationship management. We are challenged to "embrace new ideas about customer behaviors, innovative business capabilities, and fresh technologies as part of (our) CRM solutions understanding and vocabulary."
They continue: "We are researching how the rise of the social Web affects the way customers buy from and interact with organizations of all types - a phenomenon that has become known as social CRM."
A hot topic of debate among customer management and business process thought leaders right now is ascertaining the business value of "social CRM." Social technologies are proliferating rapidly. The Forrester study found that: More than four in five US online adults now participate socially!
We at Success with CRM Consulting, Inc. agree that business professionals should follow Forrester's plan:
1) Initiate social CRM experiments immediately
2) Benchmark customer and prospect social readiness
3) Define your social customer objectives
4) Assess your social CRM capabilities
5) Understand the social CRM solutions landscape
6) Map out your social CRM capabilities-building plan and
7) Define your CRM metrics for success.
It is time to review and then reframe your idea of CRM to include the sphere of customer-to-customer relationships. If you were thinking that this might not be such an easy task, you're right.
It is time now to plan and move forward.
These seven steps seem a bit daunting to undertake when your customers are collaborating, right now, in real-time, and you haven't any time to benchmark your readiness, set objectives, and map out a plan.
Don't panic. Yes, your customers have formed opinions about you, your level of service, the quality of your product, and are likely expressing that opinion somewhere on the web. And, yes, it would be a good idea to find out where, when, and how this is happening.
But remember, you can't really affect the dialogue in these forums and social media sites. What you can (and must) do is take control of this conversation by providing the space for your customers to readily communicate with you and, maybe more importantly, with each other.
This is the crux of Forrester's social CRM approach. By creating the tools (blogs, wikis, forums, customer feedback tools, social networking sites and other platforms) you can then mine the data, influence the outcome, and demonstrate that your organization is listening and actually doing something with this extremely important feedback.
Forrester is right. Planning your social CRM strategy is absolutely essential to ensure you are taking the right approach for your business. Get Started. Begin by reading "Social CRM Goes Mainstream" and select the consultation link to the right.
Contact Dick at Success with CRM Consulting to gain Insights in the creation of the strategy and implementation for results. Find out how to extend your reach and Internet Presence using Social Media and CRM.
"93% of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media" - 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study.
Social CRM is about turning content into Conversations and Relationships. Adding a social media strategy to your CRM initiatives is critically important to doing business in the 21st century.
Download this Social CRM document about the importance of integrating social media tools and strategies into your traditional CRM effort - to build meaningful relationships.
Today's New World environment has multiple simultaneous and collaborative relationships with the various communities.