Conversations with customers looking to leverage Sugar’s social media capabilities, such as the GetSocial Twitter module and others, has shed some light on how I see companies implementing and using social CRM.
I’ve come to find that while social CRM is about finding a new way to garner communication with existing customers, a company’s effective adoption of social media has everything to do with its existing knowledge of its customers. If social media is about giving your customers more control…allowing them to dictate the forum and manner in which the relationship is maintained…than knowing who your customers are, their history and purchasing habits, demographics, etc. is critical.
In addition, just because a business has adopted a social CRM strategy doesn’t mean that it’s absolved of maintaining and updating these old-school practices. All to often, businesses make the mistake of thinking that social CRM is all about the customer interaction; it’s about the data and feedback that they yield. By avoiding this mistake, a business can establish social communications based to customers it thinks would be most willing, refining future communications based on feedback and refined data to those most likely to use social media.
And then you’re right back where you started with traditional CRM years ago: building a knowledge base of history, habits, and preferences to better understand your customer base and refine new communications moving forward. So while social CRM is very much a new concept, deploying and refining it follows many of the same best practices of more traditional CRM initiatives.