Social Customer Relationship Management | Social CRM

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Social Customer Relationship Management | Social CRM
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands

Because of the increasing popularity of social media technologies, Customer Relationship Management now gives way to a broader perspective that acknowledges the new capabilities that are a result of social and technological shifts caused by social media applications. CRM systems are now merging with social media to find new ways to build stronger relationship with customers. A new term has arisen as a result: Social CRM.
Social CRM can be defined as the integration of customer relationship management activities with upcoming social media technologies with the aim of drawing customers into collective conversations and of improving the relationships with them.
Social CRM capabilities refers to firms’ competency to create, integrate and react to information attained from customer interactions through social media applications.

Trainor, Andzulis, Rapp and Agnihotri (2014) describe four ways in which companies can actually use social media applications and increase their social CRM capabilities:
1. Sharing: this refers to the technologies that support the ways in which customers can exchange and share digital information. Examples are video’s, images and “pins” on Pinterest.
2. Conversations: this refers to technologies that ease interactions between firms and customers and capture relevant information from those interactions. Examples are blogs, discussion forums, Facebook and Twitter.
3. Relationships: this represents technologies that facilitate the generation of networks of associations with other social media users and permits companies to use the information about these networks. Linkedin, Facebook and Yammer are examples.
4. Groups: this refers to the technologies that enable the creation of online communities concentrated on specific interests, brands or goods. Ideaforce and Igloo’s Customer Community are examples.

Source: Trainor, K.J., Andzulis, J., Rapp, A. and R. Agnihotri (2014) “Social Media Technology Usage and Customer Relationship Performance: A Capabilities-based Examination of Social CRM” Journal of Business Research Vol. 67 Iss. 6 pp. 1201-1208

SCRM Makes Companies Accessible
Emmanuel Mwirichia, Manager, Kenya
A lot of forward-thinking companies in Kenya use social media to increase interaction with clients. Clients get to have their issues addressed online because the transparency (and fear of backlash from a snowballing negative interaction) actually makes companies handle customer recovery faster and better.
Therefore SCRM serves to make clients' lives easier.

POST Model for Social Strategy
Joe Stasio, Business School Marketer, United States
Social CRM only makes sense as part of an organization's overall social strategy. Li's POST acronym is probably the best guide for developing these types of social strategies:
P - People. Don't start a social strategy until you know the capabilities of your audience. If you're targeting college students, use social networks. If you're reaching out business travelers, consider ratings and reviews. Forrester has great data to help with this, but you can make some estimates on your own. Just don't start without thinking about it.
O - Objectives. Pick one. Are you starting an application to listen to your customers, or to talk with them? To support them, or to energize your best customers to evangelize others? Or are you trying to collaborate with them? Decide on your objective before you decide on a technology. Then figure out how you will measure it.
S - Strategy. Strategy here means figuring out what will be different after you're done. Do you want a closer, two-way relationship with your best customers? Do you want to get people talking about your products? Do you want a permanent focus group for testing product ideas and generating new ones? Imagine you succeed. How will things be different afterwards? Imagine the endpoint and you'll know where to begin.
T - Technology. A community. A wiki. A blog or a hundred blogs. Once you know your people, objectives, and strategy, then you can decide with confidence.
Source: Empowered, December 11, 2007.

SCRM Requires Staffing
Hamad Al Sadd Al Ali, Student (MBA), United Arab Emirates
Good Morning, technologies mentioned or unmentioned are a great source of saving time and efforts for customers, but in companies they decrease productivity at higher costs. Because obviously for such Social CRM, we need staffing. On colleges, this will also be a new trend. I hope the Higher Colleges of Technology Dubai to be a pioneer in implementing such thing, but I am not so sure though.
Thank you dear student for this innovative idea.

Social Media Effects on Customer Relations Management
Makini, Business Consultant, Kenya
@Hamad Al Sadd Al Ali: Social media has taken SCRM campaign to the rightful place where it is needed. It has encroached privacy and pushed both solicited and unsolicited advertisement a like. Unfortunately SCRM is a double edged sword. It can create business and destroy it with equal measure.

Social CRM Requires Good Internal Communication and Operations Environment
Derrick Allen, Student (MBA), France
Customer Relationship Management starts within the organisation itself. When an organisation aligns with it front line and mid level employees using technological advances to understand their needs in the workplace and responds appropriately these collaborators then in turn connect with the customer creating lasting and important relationships.
Social CRM is exciting, but one must think of employees and how they will interact with the customer. Your internal communication and operations must be appropriate or you take huge risk to expose negative elements to your customers. That could result in loss of opportunities.

Social CRM from a Competitive Point of View
cecil, Student (University), Zimbabwe
Social CRM is exciting but in developing countries where information is still scarce, this can be taken as giving away competitive information.

Competitive Advantage, not Competitive Information
Emmanuel Mwirichia, Manager, Kenya
@Cecil: I think you are mistaken cecil. I think people come back to the organisations that are truly committed to giving honest and true information. A bastion of truth in the murky waters of misinformation and information gaps.
The company that appears most truthful gets highlighted and is better positioned in the customer's mind. Perceptions are not dulled by being in a third world country.

Social CRM is Even Better for SMEs in Developing Economies
Musiyandaka Donna, Student (University), Zimbabwe
The bulk of recovering economies are relying on the growth of SMEs. SCRM offers a cheaper form of advertising and client contact for SMEs and is the way to go to increase clientelle and offer client-relevant products.

More Usages of Social CRM
Jemi, Strategy Consultant, Nigeria
The use of SCRM on an appropriate platform also enables you to direct your potential audience towards your niche (e.g., website).
And having your customers' feedback and measuring that will be helpful to the decisions you make / your strategy.
All of these usages could ultimately be a welcome development for your revenue and profitability.

Growing Importance of CRM Due to Apps
Nisha, Analyst, India
Now-a-days smart phones, tablets and mobile apps are forcing change in the world of CRM even faster than social media.
CRM is in the first place a way of thinking on how you will deliver value to you customers and also how customers will give value in return. CRM is about developing strategies to optimize your customer portfolio in terms of value, revenues and profitability.


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