Here is a key trend that I have been noticing: the CRM integration with Social Media applications to create a new social element in the CRM marketplace: Social CRM. Here are my thoughts on the reasons behind the emergence of Social CRM.
CRM vendors are now beginning to offer integration with third party comprehensive Social Media applications. Social media is information content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies to facilitate communications, influence and interaction with peers and with public audiences typically via the Internet and mobile communications networks. This interaction and the manner in which information is presented in Social Media applications depends on the varied perspectives and the “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences through user-generated content or consumer-generated media. Social media can take many different forms such as Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, forums-postings, instant messaging and voice over IP, to name a few.
The CRM integration with Social Media application is creating a new social element in traditional CRM processes: Social CRM. Social CRM leverages a social element that enables a business to connect customer conversations and relationships from social networking Websites in the CRM process. Therefore, Social CRM engages customers, prospects and contacts through Social Media. Social CRM will augment traditional CRM, but it will not replace it. ISM sees Social CRM becoming integrated in CRM platforms and systems for a 360 degree view of customers through the use of feeds from Social Media channels. Each customer can select which Social Media channel to use and organizations will communicate with each customer based on their Social Media channel selection. The ultimate goal of engaging the customer through Social Media channels will be to build trust and brand loyalty. What Social Media has done is to enable the ability to create a one-to-one relationship regardless of the geographical location. This type of one-to-one relationship based on mutual trust is not possible through traditional CRM channels such as telephone or emails.
Social Media Integration with CRM is growing as evidenced by Cisco’s SocialMiner release: http://tinyurl.com/29m5unz
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