The Tinkerbell effect describes those things that exist only because people believe in them (source wikipedia). I suppose I could make this really controversial and slam Social CRM as simply in existence due to vendors, and people like me who talk about it. It would be quite easy to simply state that customers are more vocal, they do all sorts of new things; but it is really just CRM for here and now. I included the following in a post I wrote last week which speaks specifically about your customers – yes, Yours!
Generation C (your customer, now or in the very near future)
Generation C is a cross-generational, age independent sociagraphic (source: Springwise and Paul Greenberg) Generation C spans from Boomers through Gen X and Gen Y right up to Millennial. From a customer perspective, this represents change, highlights peer influence and alters who I trust. Generation C is:
- Content-driven – We are producers; blogs, text, images, audio and video, etc.,…
- Connected – We use the Phone, Email sometime, Messaging, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, RSS
- Creative – We are able to choose the form of content that allows us to express our thoughts
- Collaborative – We like working with Friends, Peers, Mentors, Partners…Oh, and Customers
- Contextual – What we say, do and think is highly dependent upon where and when we are
- Communicative – Sometimes without a filter, we say what we say
OK, so what, just because I say it is so, does not make it so, does it?
The real value from Social CRM comes from being able to change how you and your company do business and communicate with (not to) your customers, present and future. If done right, you will improve the user experience while building advocacy at the same time. Simply responding to as many comments or tweets as possible is senseless and not scalable – oh and a waste of time. For the detractors in the crowd, this should simply be a matter of course, not something new. Jumping on a new channel, trying to be cool and hip, does not work either. Have you ever tried to jump in on a conversation with your teenager (or someone else’s) and tried to act cool, and fit in? Yeah, how did it go? Not great, huh? My kids laugh at me, but that does not mean I will stop trying, or believing.
Social CRM is the simple belief that you are able to speak to your customers on their terms, not yours. They actually want to collaborate with you, let you know how your product can be made better. Customers may not always be very tactful, but information is information, right? Customers are mobile, right? If, you are reading this you might be researching CRM, you might be a customer, or a future customer. Do you have a mobile phone, I am guessing yes. Do you create content, blogs, or write reviews. How about chat on Facebook, Linkedin?
The Conclusion? Social CRM is not here because I am writing about it, nor because vendors are creating products around it. Just as the strategy of Social CRM is in response to the Social Customer – the solutions required are in response to a companies need to track that information.