Social CRM: Use it and Implement it properly

Michael Maoz at Gartner shares with us in his blog post Social CRM: Made for the Cloud, AND Requires care/feeding a good reminder that any technology, whether social networks, crm systems, or your iPhone is only as good as the strategy and execution behind it. As we collectively race to harness, leverage, and integrate social media into our business models, it is important to always keep the customer at the forefront and engage them in a meaningful, intentional way.

Here is an easy way to advance your abilities in understanding the customer’s intent: leverage communities. Most of you work hard to move every transaction to something automated: voice response, email, online self service, kiosk, ATM – and in so doing lose the ability to understand what the customer might be trying to tell you about their wants and needs. But a social network, properly observed, analyzed, and maybe even participated in more on that piece in another blog can yield insight into how you as an organization need to change if you are going to win customer loyalty.

Just tossing up a social site, or giving customers the tools to interact, won’t help. You will be heading towards a more Social CRM that will require the same discipline that most of us failed to maintain with our previous pre-social networks CRM initiatives. Without corporate commitment, you might as well be handing out sharp knives to a party of three year olds – someone’s going to get hurt.

Without the focus on the customer, social media and social CRM become the latest fad and tech gadget until the next generation comes along. Focus on your customers. Learn to listen, observe, and interact with them in a way that adds value.

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