Prepare for the Future of Social CRM - dummies

Prepare for the Future of Social CRM

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

You wouldn’t be doing due diligence to your brand if you didn’t prepare for the future of Social CRM. Traditional CRM aimed to gather essential data to move customers through a buying cycle and gain incremental revenue from existing customers. The customer data collected was somewhat flat compared to the robust information now available through social media.

Evolving social CRM platforms capture the same types of information that companies are used to, but with a wider view of customers, including information like the following:

  • Transactions: Just like traditional CRM, social CRM provides a historical view of customer transactions and those in the pipeline.

  • Conversations: Beyond scheduled appointments and recaptures of previous interactions with your company, social CRM can provide insight into the content of every conversation a customer has ever had. This helps to paint a broader picture of their likes and dislikes.

  • Influence: Here’s big piece of the yummy social CRM pie! Social media and the CRM solutions that capture social conversations dig into the reach of an individual customer based on his or her network and sphere of influence.

  • Demographics: Social CRM tools can tap into networks like LinkedIn, allowing automatic updating of demographic information. With traditional CRM, keeping up with customer demographics required manual updates.

  • Feedback: Customer feedback through social channels can be categorized and captured, and then used to drive product evolution.

  • Customer needs: Social media monitoring tools can identify key conversations taking place online where your brand can step in to provide needed information and meet customer needs.

  • Relationships: Many people use social media to announce life moments like marriage and the birth of a child. You can track and help celebrate these milestones the way their friends might on these sites.

  • Preferences: You can identify the types of conversations that take place on varying social media platforms and adjust your approaches to match your customers’ preferences.

The customer module of the future

To build the customer module of the future, you must understand the customer life cycle. CRM typically has tracked and managed the activities needed to move customers through a sales and buying cycle. The customer life cycle goes beyond a single transaction and seeks to manage the customer relationship for loyalty, retention, and even referrals.

The idea of the customer life cycle is to keep loyal customers moving through the buying cycle over and over again. The key is maintaining customer satisfaction along the way to earn the right to ask for the sale over and over again. Social CRM enables organizations to meet customers where and how they want, which increases your brand’s chances of developing a longer-term customer life cycle.

The 360-degree view

The 360-degree view refers to the ability to completely see a customer, to have all-around insight into what makes that person tick. Reaching for the full view of customers means looking at how customers use and view social media, mobile technologies, and e-mail. Make sure that you understand each of these aspects of your customer interactions.

When you get the full view of your customer, you’re empowered to craft more relevant messages and disseminate them with accuracy. The 360-degree view gives a more robust customer profile that incorporates past, current, and future touch points of the customer. These include, but definitely aren’t limited to

  • Purchase history

  • Previous service issues

  • Channel preferences

  • Influences — past and present

  • Life events

  • Likelihood to recommend and/or repurchase

  • Motivations for interaction