I have a million thoughts running around my head after reading Paul Greenberg’s excellent in depth scathing review of the customer engagement failures of United Airlines. Many of us fly a lot in our lives – so the airline example is an easy target to hit home for most of us. But the core tenets here ring true for anyone.
Look, in any economy, profit rules. And the airline industry (as well as many others) is hurting. We get that. But it is times like this that companies have to understand that alienating the customer you still have in bad times, will only make it harder to attract new ones even if things rebound.
Paul’s blog post points out a lot of failures – and notes what United should have, or could have done in a lot of these situations. And here is where traditional CRM meets social CRM in the most important way. By taking the “facts” or raw data of customer transactions – social CRM allows companies to do a few important things. Companies can sift out irregularities in that data – and take closer looks at smaller numbers of important customer segments. While this may not be automated or optimized – to use common CRM terms – the net effect is happier customers that can become brand advocates.
Social CRM will not provide a lot of cool dashboards that will show how much more money you will gain, or give your business a lot of predictability the way traditional CRM can. But by marrying these two concepts, you can optimize the transaction-based nature of your business, and then use that data to better engage and connect with your different customer segments.