Paul Greenberg, who gave an interesting keynote at CRM Evolution last week, was nice enough to make his keynote slides available to all. I love how open source concepts are everywhere these days.
But looking over these again, an interesting question popped into my head. As Paul’s slides paint a picture around convergence of CRM, the call center (since CRM Evolution is put on in tandem with the SpeeckTek conference), and customer voice, I thought to myself: “What’s the difference?”
I mean, really – in a call center scenario, what are we doing besides having the kinds of “social” engagements that Paul and other next-generation CRM gurus talk about? What better place to have a social strategy than when you’re actually talking to your customers, right?
Well, yes and no. The “yes” is that, of course, call center interactions are a great opportunity to show that you are a customer-centric organization. And a great experience there can spawn advocacy and great viral activity in a positive light. It can, of course, go terribly wrong – as we’ve seen in the now infamous United Breaks Guitars fiasco (I’ll be the one blogger to not post the video link).
But social CRM and understanding the voice of the customer is much more than simply optimizing direct interactions. There are more amorphous concepts at play here. Marketing is perhaps the biggest driver and department to benefit from the non-call center type of social CRM. While social CRM can and does help sales – the impact is not really felt there. Sales is about closing, and as I’ve discussed before, social CRM is not a closing tool. Instead, the branding, awareness and ability to learn a lot from the multiple conversation points with customers helps marketing and those taxed with measuring and optimizing loyalty, satisfaction, etc.
So, ultimately, a call center can be a strong component of a social CRM strategy. But social CRM encompasses much more in terms of channels, messaging, opportunities, purpose etc.