How to Customize the Overall Experience for Social CRM - dummies

How to Customize the Overall Experience for Social CRM

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

Social CRM is a true success when you customize the overall experience. Co-creation and collaboration with your customers can be a true test of your company’s ability to evolve with the times. It requires you to loosen the reigns of your brand a bit, but not entirely. You still get to

  • Build the community for your customers.

  • Design the infrastructure to support them.

  • Implement the technologies to drive ideas.

The following steps walk you through the big-picture process of creating a custom experience for your customers that enables them to co-create with your business:

  1. Determine your business’s goals for co-creation

    For co-creation to be successful, you need to know what you want to achieve with it. Some look to co-creation simply for content, but the best campaigns actually utilize the information captured to their advantage.

    My Starbucks Idea is one example of this, where they asked customers to tell them anything and everything about how to make the Starbucks experience better. Then, instead of putting that information in a drawer, they used it to improve the drinks, service and layout of their stores—all while telling their customers exactly how and why they made these changes.

  2. Choose technology to support co-creation

    After you know the goal of co-creation for your company, determine where it will take place. Facebook and Twitter are easy to use, existing systems, but they are owned by someone else.

    Explore the idea of building your own application or web platform to collect the information you receive through co-creation, as both Starbucks and Dell did.

  3. Respond to feedback from the co-creation forum.

    Think about what you are going to do with this information. Answering the following questions can help you develop a well-rounded response:

    • Will you be allowing users to post in real-time, or will you be moderating their contributions?

    • Will you reply to them immediately, or wait until you have reached the end of your campaign?

    • After you have the information you need, how will you implement it and communicate these changes both to your co-creators and customers (who may be unaware that other customers assisted you)?

If you discover a divergence of audiences within your community, you can develop new outlets that cater to different segments. You can give your customers more choices on how they engage, further customizing their own experience and probably enhancing the environment of each community. People like to engage with people who “get us.” Focus not only on the experience of one customer but an entire community.

United Kingdom–based mobile network giffgaff employs no customer service agents or representatives, only community managers. The online community empowers customers to provide answers to fellow customer questions or concerns. Community managers stay engaged to keep the brand on track and step in where the community can’t provide answers, for example on billing issues.