The Power of Social CRM

The Power of Social CRM
Social CRM

By Barton Goldenberg, President & Founder, ISM, Inc.

Social CRM is the next breakthrough in driving value through deeper customer relationships and better customer interactions.

All this and more can be found in my new book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, which Pearson Press will release on March 16. Visit our website for options on ordering the book.

During my monthly webinar series, on March 10th at 1:00 p.m. EST, I will share core concepts from the book, including a proven methodology for making Social CRM work in any organization: B2B, B2C, or B2B2C. I will show how to systematically harvest information from any online conversation and community, integrate it into customer profiles, and use it to enhance customer engagement and to seamlessly personalize better interactions and offers across your entire business. Participants will learn:

• How to integrate Social Media and CRM to deepen your customer relationships and grow profits
• A four-step methodology for creating Social CRM strategy
• Realistic advice on strategy, tactics, people, processes and technology
• Live case studies of organizations already succeeding with Social CRM
• Emerging Social CRM linkages: mobility, gamification, analytics, and the Internet of Things

While not without its challenges, an integrated Social CRM strategy that incorporates public and private social communities is a powerful way to take your company to new heights by fulfilling the desires of your “always-on, always connected” digital customers.

But you cannot just dip your toe into the Social CRM space and expect meaningful results. Here’s why:

• You need to build self-sustaining public and private social communities in order to generate and feed meaningful social “insight” (e.g., why a customer likes to do business with your company) into your CRM customer profiles, which in turn you can leverage to drive enhanced customer engagement. It takes at least one year to build a self-sustaining social community since, as a rule of thumb, for every 100 invites you send to customers/prospect to join your social community, 10 will accept your invitation and participate from time to time in the community, and one of these 1 will become a “super-user” taking on a leading role in driving the success of your community (i.e., commenting and engaging other members on a regular basis). And you need at least a dozen super-users to sustain a community, which takes time to establish.

• It also takes time to establish ‘blogger personalities’ within your community – often several months – and we know that strong bloggers personalities are key to driving social community member engagement.

• Community contests (e.g., a photo showing the best use of your product) play an important role in driving traffic to your social community. It takes time for members to enter the contest; you cannot rush this activity.

• Effective social communities establish meaningful success metrics out of the gates. This includes both ‘community health’ as well as ‘financial return’ metrics. Community health metrics are straight forward but take time to achieve – e.g., number of members, number of posts/comments, number of discussion threads, etc. Financial return metrics are more difficult but equally as important. In one community that we designed and built, we justified the business case around a .5% annual increase in revenues resulting from an additional ½ case of product sold to each community member each year. This increase resulted from peer-to-peer recommendations and influence coming from community members, which again takes time to establish.

Is your company ready to leverage the Power of Social CRM? It takes time and careful planning to create Social CRM success but the rewards more than offset the wait.

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The Definitive Guide to Social CRMBarton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.