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CRM Evolution Conference Focuses on Recognizing & Resolving Social CRM Issues

CRM Evolution Conference Focuses on Recognizing & Resolving Social CRM Issues

By Barton Goldenberg, Founder & President, ISM

I attended and spoke at the 2013 CRM Evolution Conference in NYC last week. Thought this was the best CRM Evolution Conference since its founding in the mid-2000s. What made this year’s conference so interesting was its focus on Social CRM and willingness to discuss the challenges moving the industry in this direction.

Here are two examples:

1) At my Social CRM Executive Bootcamp, we spent the first two hours defining Social CRM and the final Bootcamp hour talking about the key challenges (e.g., integration of ‘social insight’ into CRM customer profiles). The Bootcamp participants also spent a lot of time discussing the role that private Digital Customer Communities play in achieving meaningful Social CRM impact. To achieve meaningful Social CRM, I suggested that one needs to listen and filter relevant ‘social insights’ coming from customers that participate on both public and private Social Media communities, then integrate these insights into their customer profile that is housed within the CRM application so that in turn meaningful customer engagement can take place via the customer’s channel of preference.

All participants seem to have understood the value of a public Social Media community (e.g., a Facebook community) in terms of building a brand image and providing new content but few participants seem to have understood the value and criticality of the private Social Media community component. To be clear, the private Social Media community is set up to complement your public Social Media efforts. You ‘push’ qualified customers from your public community to your private community so that participants can socialize in a more intimate setting, and where you then harvest customer insights for use in your CRM engagement efforts.

2) At the CRM vendor panel keynote on day two of the Conference, six executives from leading CRM vendors gave their definition of Social CRM. There were at least six definitions!

As we all know, the first step in successfully addressing an issue is to recognize the issue. Without doubt, the challenges associated with Social CRM were recognized at this year’s Conference! Now hopefully we can move onto resolving these issues as an industry.

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