Q & A with Barton Goldenberg on Social CRM Implementation

Q & A with Barton Goldenberg on Social CRM Implementation

1) What are some of the biggest mistakes organizations are making regarding social CRM?

  • Incomplete understanding of what Social CRM is and its potential impact on an organization: Despite Social CRM being around for the past 5 years, organizations still fall short understanding how to leverage Social CRM to enhance customer engagement to grow sales, to market more effectively, and to improve customer servicing.
  • Failure to understand that successful Social Media communities are as much about private communities as they are about public communities. Whereas many (most?) organizations think Social Media communities equate to public communities such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. nothing could be further from the truth.  Public communities work fine for branding, for new product/service announcements and for inviting members to the organization’s private Social Media community, they are a poor way to create intimate exchanges among its members, which is where private Social Media communities shine.
  • Failure to commit necessary resources to Social CRM. Many organizations want to ‘dip their toes’ into the Social CRM space.  Unfortunately this is not possible.  In the 4-step methodology that I describe in my new book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM (Pearson, 2015), I explain that you cannot reach Step #4 (improved customer engagement) until you have successfully accomplished Steps #1-3.  Social CRM requires: (Step #1) ongoing listening to Social Media communities, (Step #2) effective filtering of ‘social insight’, (Step #3) integration of this social insight into the customer profiles housed within the CRM application, that in turn allows for (Step #4) enhanced customer engagement.
  • Failure to put into place appropriate business processes to maximize the value of Social CRM. Being in a position to leverage social insight gathered from harvesting Social Media communities requires the organization to have key Social CRM processes in place.  These processes range from which public and private Social Media sites to monitor and how often to how the social insight will be integrated into the CRM application, to how best to engage customers via their preferred channel.
  • Failure to have a comprehensive Social CRM roadmap and action plan. My best clients who have successfully implemented Social CRM will be the first to confirm that without a Social CRM roadmap and action plan in place, Social CRM will never become a sustainable reality.

2) Why are these mistakes being made?

  • Many companies still live with their head in the sand vis-à-vis the digital revolution. They have an incomplete knowledge of the potential of Social CRM.  Many fear that negative Social Media comments about the company and/or its products and services will going viral and damaging the brand.  Social CRM is here to stay, and now is the time to ensure that your company has skin in this all-important game.
  • They feel that because the past worked well and did not involve active participation in the digital revolution, why rock the boat now?  Unfortunately these companies will end up as relics in the Smithsonian museum.
  • Incomplete knowledge of public versus private Social Media communities. By virtue of them being open to all, public Social Media communities will never deliver the intimacy that private. Peer-to-peer Social Media communities are capable of delivering.  And it is during intimate peer-to-peer exchanges that social insights are gathered.

3)  If organizations do nothing about these mistakes, how can they potentially hurt companies?

  • Companies not harvesting ‘social insights’ will lose business to competitors that are actively listening and acting on social insight gathered from their customers and prospects.
  • Companies will have less than a complete understanding of the customer, which invites the customer to fulfill their needs elsewhere, more specifically from a company that has taken the time to successfully implement Social CRM and that consequently has a more robust understanding of their customers’ needs.
  • Companies will not offer their products and services via their customers’ channels of preference, which will also drive the customer into the arms of your competitors.

4) What actions should companies take to launch a successful social CRM strategy?

Companies successfully implementing Social CRM programs follow these 10 steps, which I will review during my 2-part Social CRM Executive Boot camp:

Step #1: Social Media must support the company’s business strategy/goals

Step #2: Define Social CRM success from the outset using clear metrics

Step #3:  Link Social CRM to existing CRM customer programs and outreach

Step #4:  Integrated the Social Media community with other marketing programs

Step #5:  Draw on existing organizational resources and initiatives

Step #6:  Leveraged partners

Step #7:  Carefully monitor the community

Step #8:  Respond quickly to community input

Step #9:  Picked something you are passionate about

Step #10: Utilized an integrated Social Media strategy

5) Without giving too much detail, can you describe the strategies you plan to cover in your CRM Evolution session?

  • I will define what Social CRM is and share with participants how global, best-in-class companies like ExxonMobil, Kraft Foods and others created successful Social CRM initiatives.
  • I will also cover how and why companies have fallen short in creating their Social CRM strategy and/or implementing it with excellence.

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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.