Trend: Customer Assistance Options Meets Social CRM
Today, companies are relying on Social Media to assist their CRM users and as budgets get tighter, many companies using CRM solutions are embracing Social Media as a cost-effective method to improve their customer assistance options with their clients rather than increasing sales resources.
According to Salesforce.com’s VP of product marketing for its Service Cloud Unit Fergus Griffin, the CRM space has evolved from support focused on traditional contact centers to support concentrated in the cloud, where agents can interact with their customers in real-time on social networks. The tide is shifting from the days when a customer picks up the phone to call a help line to address or solve a problem. More and more, customers share their frustrations or seek resolution on Twitter or Facebook, hoping to illicit a response from friends and/or the company.
Today, savvy businesses are using social media channels to reduce costs (for example, through call deflection and customer-generated contributions to their knowledge bases), increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, enhance their brand image, acquire new customers, perform market research, identify insights and innovation, and validate marketing messages and product concepts. We see more organizations building online communities for customer assistance, which will come with tight integration into other CRM processes. Through an online forum or Social Media networks, customers can gain immediate access to experts ready to provide assistance on a variety of topics.
Many CRM vendors are pushing hard into social media and customer assistance solutions including NetSuite, Oracle, and SugarCRM. CRM and Social Media is evolving and so naturally customer assistance options will increase in the future CRM marketplace.