The web is rife with new concepts that seem to come and go from one month to the next. We hear all about how important something like organic SEO efforts are and then people blast into social media and start obsessing over that. The truth is, all of these areas – whether they are hot or not at the time – are viable ways to improve your marketing efforts and make your brand stronger. Focusing on getting results in any one area is likely to lead to success, whether you want to be a star of the search engine rankings or maybe a social media mogul, you will always have options. If you do business via social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, though, you really should consider the value of Social CRM. If you do not yet know what that is, have no fear because we are about to pull back the curtain on this often poorly understood concept.
First Let’s Define CRM
CRM is fairly easy to understand. This acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it typically refers to the tools and strategies that are used by pros in the IT sector of a company, working with those in marketing or customer service, to help get a better understanding of customers and how they interact with that company. The job of those involved in CRM is to create databases and other tools so that a company can see what all its customers might need or want and serve them better. This can also help reduce expenses that just are not necessary for products that rarely sell or services that just are not being used. Those in CRM might track things about a customer such as what they buy, what they return, whether or not they complain, emails they have sent or received and communication via phone. By getting an understanding of this data, a company then is able to know more about the customer when they talk to them and this helps them provide better service.
What Makes Social CRM Different From Traditional CRM
Social CRM does track most of the same things as traditional CRM, but it does represent something of an upgrade. Beyond all those sets of data, in Social CRM we want to know what the customer likes, dislikes, places they tend to go, who their friends are, what they like to talk about, hobbies they have, what they search for and other details that define a person’s lifestyle. We want to understand them in relation not just to our company, but their social sphere. This helps us be able to fine tune service for them and also use that data to create more effective products and services that meet the needs of those we serve as a business. The whole point here is that by compiling this kind of data, a company can improve its sales and its image with those it serves.
Why is Social CRM Such a Powerful Tool for Businesses?
As you might imagine, a company that really knows its customers and provides what they didn’t even realize they wanted is going to be quite popular. Obviously, Social CRM is probably going to be better for companies that have a specific niche they focus on. It is bound to help them get personal with their audience and stay that way, If you think about the 80 / 20 principle, where in 20% of your customer base represents 80% of your sales, then you can see why Social CRM could be good for maximizing profits. Lifestyle customers that buy fully into a company and what it offers are the goldmine in today’s economy so this is exactly the kind of CRM you want to be doing.
What is the Hope for Social CRM in the Future?
Many people hope that this kind of strategy can become more common place, but depending up customer’s worries over their privacy, that might not be the way that things go. Eventually, we may live in a world where data is understood in a richer way and where it can flow more easily from customer to company so that customers can customize their own experience. It is most likely that this is where the change is going to come: letting customers have a strong hand in their own Social CRM. Once they see how much better service they get, they are likely to embrace this form of CRM and want to play an active role. Companies that convince their customers to go that way are sure to succeed in this age of transparency.