Creating Value with CRM and Micro Social Networks

I have to admit I am still trying to find the appeal of the generic use of Twitter (my tweet name – if that’s what they call it – is still mschneider718 by the way). I like how easy it is to blog a sentence or two and send it out to the world…but unless you have already built up a strong nation of followers…you’re pretty much babbling away into a small box on a screen…

So, how can the technology behind Twitter become useful? Well, of course once you build up a strong following, you can tweet en mass or to individuals. But how can CRM peroviders and CRM consumers utilize this technology in a meaning ful way?

I think Twitter technology can work in two ways – and these are for internal and external use. One – an embedded Twitter-like panel inside the CRM system can act as an alerts and notifications, or simple update feed for all users in the systems, or for specific teams. The great thing about this – is that the network of “followers” so to speak is preexisting – the CRM user base are the followers.Look for some very cool capabilities like this in SugarCRM very, very soon (if this was a movie critique site – I guess that would be called a spoiler…).

The other model allows customers to submit thier Twitter names to the company, which is stored in the CRM system. Then, the customer can opt to recieve updates via Twitter. For example, a change in status of a service issue, or a reminder that a payment or other servie is due (a nice reminder to get your oil changed, for example) can easily be pushed out via Twitter, or SMS, or email, creating a true multi-channel customer service machine.

We are very much at the beginning here – but the great thing about these new web technologies is that they are light, easy to integrate and limited only by the users (and CRM provider’s) imaginations…