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How to Build and Track Customer Relationships through Google+, Google Contacts, and Gmail

Google+ is a social layer marketing tool that spans across all Google products. It helps you build relationships with your customers and those you interact with. The best way to illustrate how Google+ works as a CRM tool is to show you the process of data being added to a contact as you interact with the same person on each Google product. Here’s what it looks like:

  1. You post something on your Google+ page, and a random customer — call him Joe — comments on your post, saying he has a problem with your product.

  2. You circle Joe with your personal Google+ account and give him an e-mail address where he can contact you.

  3. Once Joe is circled, he appears in your Google Contacts under Circles, with the circle you added him to.

    Any information he has chosen to share publicly will also appear in this contact, which may already include an e-mail address or phone number.

  4. Joe e-mails you, and you receive his e-mail in Gmail. Next to the e-mail you see a Google+ contact for him, along with the option to circle him.

    If you chose not to circle him earlier on, circling him now adds him to your contacts, complete with the e-mail address he just used to e-mail you.

  5. If his e-mail wasn’t listed in his Google profile, and you circled him in Gmail, he’ll now have two contacts — one with the e-mail and one without.

    You can merge the two records in Contacts, so that now Joe’s record in Google Contacts has an e-mail address associated with his Google+ profile.

  6. Let’s say you decide to schedule a phone call to Joe.

    You’ve set up a phone number in Google Voice; you give him that number. You’ve set it up so that people in your “customers” circle, which he’s in, are sent to a custom message in your Google Voice voicemail. You get the message about the problem, and realize it’s from Joe.

  7. To call Joe, take the number from Google Voice, and choose to add it to your contacts — but since Joe is already in your contacts, you opt to add him to your existing Google+ contact.

    That same record for his Google+ profile has an e-mail address and phone number associated with it. You decide to add him to a new circle of people you’ve previously talked to in person.

  8. When Joe’s problem is resolved, you move on and continue posting on your Google+ page. Joe comments again.

    You click his Google+ profile and see immediately that he’s been added to your “previously contacted” circle, and you also have an e-mail and phone number associated with his contact record in Google. Ask him how his previous problem worked out. Now you have a happy customer — and a solid relationship.

In this scenario, there is a customer-service example to show how Google+ can be used for CRM, but you can also apply it readily to networking, sales, or other business needs. Using Google+, you can track your relationships as you build them — throughout each customer’s Google experience.

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