Social CRM: An Evolved Form Of Traditional CRM

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The rise and rise of social media has changed the marketing landscape forever. Unsurprisingly, the adoption of Social CRM is also on the rise. CRM in the traditional sense involves gathering data about current and future customers.This data is then analysed to create and implement strategies for increasing customer retention and attracting potential ones.

Essentially, traditional CRM is about capturing as much customer information as possible. Consumer data is captured throughout the consumer life cycle. This data is primarily used to move the consumer from consideration stage to acquisition. Thereafter, captured data is used for addressing grievances, up-selling and possibly creating advocates for the brands.

There are a bunch of technology companies who provide cloud based CRM solutions to aid companies in managing their customer relationships. Gartner has predicted that CRM will be a $36 Billion market by 2017. This underlines the faith companies place in CRM for maintaining and growing their consumer base.

What is the importance of Social CRM?

The new social savvy consumer prefers to gain information, seek grievance redressal and avail promotions through social media. Brand presence on social media has opened up possibilities for real-time two way communication between brands and consumers. This has has a cascading effect on the speed of response customers expect from brands. To put things in perspective, a recent study found that 66% of social media users expect a same-day response. The same study also uncovered that 1 in 4 users on Twitter and Facebook expect complaint resolution within an hour.

Traditional CRM struggles in this regard due to fundamental differences in the communication channels. Companies who have not yet warmed up to Social CRM rely heavily on call centers or contact centers. Communication through these centers happen in the form of telephonic conversations, web chats and email conversations. All of which are inherently prone to a slow response. Customers no longer want to listen to annoying instructions on an IVR or search through a company's website for a relevant email address. They would rather lodge their complaint from the convenience of their Twitter account or Facebook profile.

Why is Social CRM great?

Social CRM wins where traditional CRM can't, because it amplifies a company's relationship building efforts. How? Conversations on social media are public. This means that customer complaints become public too. A brand which handles its customer's complaint publicly and manages to resolve it in record time, immediately takes its customer care quotient to a new high. The complainant's social contacts can witness first hand that the brand values its customers. Instances like this are a PR exercise in their own right. Brands who see this side of social media are the ones who quickly adopt a Social CRM strategy.

The most important and unmatched quality of Social CRM is response time. Complainants can expect faster acknowledgement of their complaint. Brands which receive huge volumes of complaint understand the importance of complaint acknowledgement.

Everybody hates to wait, with Social CRM customers are no longer at the mercy of the availability of a call center employee. A team member can quickly glance through the problem identified by the customer, take corrective action and notify the customer. Most of our clients who use Konnect Social are able to respond to complaints within 24 hours.

Merge Traditional CRM with Social CRM for better redressal

It is not always possible for companies to abolish traditional CRM altogether. Rather, companies should use Social CRM in conjunction with their existing CRM. A classic example where companies can do this is in the telecom industry. A customer who complains about call drop issues on Twitter can be reached out to share their details. The CRM team can then look through their system with the help of the number provided. Before calling the customer the team can look through the person's complaint history as well as check coverage in the mentioned location. Handling the complaint becomes easier and faster as the issues are known and the remedies applied in the past can be tried again.

When Social CRM is merged with Traditional CRM, pulling up customer data and updating it becomes an efficient process. It lets the customer care pacify irate customers through faster response and resolution. A better customer service experience helps the brand increase its engagement and spread positive word of mouth. Through adoption of Social CRM a brand can let its customers witness not only brand promotion through social media but also its handling of after-sales issues. Thus giving the customer a 360 degree brand experience on social media.

One of the leading Telecommunications service provider who uses Konnect Social has bridged their traditional CRM with our Social CRM through Konnect Social's APIs. They couldn't be happier with the outcome. Complaints coming in through the telephone have decreased and moved online due to the quick response customers have received. They can now map the customer's online presence with their traditional CRM through the mobile number which acts as a unique ID. This helps our customer in tracking complaint history whenever the customer complains through either the offline or online medium. Players from other sectors can similarly merge their CRM with a Social CRM to better manage grievances.

What would otherwise be a mundane customer service chore becomes a fantastic customer engagement opportunity through Social CRM. Sooner brands realize this, sooner they will be ahead of their competitors in the social media game.


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