Customer Relationship Management (or CRM as it is most commonly known) came quietly onto the business scene in the mid-90’s. CRM took a relevant yet secondary position in most businesses, with an important but limited focus on customer interaction tracking and IT automation of service delivery. While some pioneers stretched the CRM toolset a step further and began to provide some support to sales activities, its real impact on revenue remained somewhat limited. Then Web 2.0 happened and the social media explosion suddenly changed the CRM game.
Customers have always wanted high quality customer service, but with social media they are now empowered to ‘scream’ so much louder than ever if they do not get it. Remember the adage not long ago that “the average angry customer will tell 8 people”. Those were the good old days. Now if your company disservices a customer then that angry person may very easily tell 800 Facebook friends, or maybe 8000 people will hear about it in a Twitter frenzy.
Lessons for Others:
The need for companies to effectively resolve service issues fast and effectively is no longer a nice to have…it is now mandatory for most business’s viability. However all of the information required to do so can no longer be found via the traditional service channels, but rather is ‘out there’ in a social network. CRM solutions are therefore undergoing dramatic change, and must now tightly integrate with diverse and complex social media environments. Core new capabilities include visibility to a customer’s broader online persona with the ability to understand their impact and influence, while more advanced functionality includes automated social media conversation monitoring, prioritization, and escalation. In short, CRM as a tool is quickly morphing into “Social CRM”, and what used to be an ‘app’ or at most a ‘department’ in the majority of companies, is now becoming a core business strategy.
Web References / Further Reading: