Social CRM

Social CRM (SCRM or social customer relationship management) describes a business strategy that adds social media elements to classic customer relationship management. SCRM can be understood as customer service and customer loyalty in social media. A company moves their focus onto customers who are active on different social media platforms, to both offer customer service on social channels, and to optimize their own service by collecting customer data via these channels. The long-term goal of Social CRM is to increase customer satisfaction and revenue.

General information

A large number of customers today communicate via forums, communities, blogs and social networks. The way in which companies can contact these people and groups of people has changed significantly as a result. Social CRM is the attempt to make the most diverse social media usable for companies, and to offer customers added value on these platforms.

Social CRM starts with the communication of customers via social media, but does not stop there: Social CRM often goes hand in hand with classic approaches from management, CRM and data warehouse to support strategic and operational decisions. However, the most important part of social CRM is the relationship with the customer, which can be redefined by social media.

Functioning of Social CRM

Social CRM is made up of several components that together constitute an effective strategy for maintaining relationships in the social media sector. These include:

Social Media Platforms

Companies can use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Xing or LinkedIn. They can also become active in blogs, communities, forums or chats. Social CRM is heavily dependent on these platforms, and communication and engagement on these platforms should be tailored to each medium and its user groups, as each channel has different characteristics and different orientations. With regard to social CRM, companies should first ask themselves where, how and what they want to communicate.

Webmonitoring

In social CRM, companies receive a special kind of feedback that needs to be collected and evaluated. Depending on the size of the company, large amounts of data are generated, which should be reasonably structured. Prospective customers, existing customers and former customers interact differently. An offer can be made to a potential customer, whereas an existing customer would expect a particular kind of offer. Feedback from unsatisfied customers can sometimes improve the company's performance. This data must be collected, segmented and stored in a database.

Practical relevance

Companies practice different types of communication in social CRM, which can be shown schematically:

  • 1/n: The company speaks to several groups of people; individual messages are addressed to all members of the social media platform - for example, via posts on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn or weblogs.
  • 1/1: Direct communication from the company to the customer. For example, technical support via direct message or a question about a product.
  • 1/1/n: The company speaks indirectly to customers via postings or discussions. However, customers can transmit individual messages by tagging or sharing them. The contents might also reach potential customers, potentially significantly increasing the reach. The problem: Posts and discussions that are open to the public can also damage the company's image if received negatively.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Social CRM

Maintaining relationships via social media costs resources in the form of time, money and employees. How useful it is to use these resources depends on the size and nature of the company.

Requirements

There should be a certain closeness to social media and its user groups. Companies that practise social CRM should also take legal aspects into account, because communication and the data obtained from it are subject to data protection. In addition, the customer's privacy is particularly important. The customer will only want to build up a trusting relationship with the company if they feel valued.

Customer Feedback

Social CRM offers opportunities for valuable customer feedback that enables companies to improve the quality of their services. Companies can react quickly and flexibly to customer requirements and changes in the market. If the company is open to this type of interaction, long-term positive effects can be expected. Social CRM can fundamentally change the perception of a product or a brand if the company picks up and implements the wishes of customers during communication. The redesign of the customer relationship can have an impact on the company's image and turnover.

Significance for Social Media Marketing

Social CRM does justice to the customer's developments as a prosumer and defines a new form of interaction. Social CRM as crowdsourcing enables a more modern social media marketing that exploits the potentials of the social web and at the same time gives the customer the feeling that they can actively participate. In the social media sector, the customer is already king, because nothing works without the active user and communication at eye level.[1]

Social interactions and engagement in the form of likes, shares, comments, recommendations and backlinks in forums or other social signals can also mean synergy effects. Social CRM can touch on aspects of search engine optimization that can have a positive impact on the reputation of the company on the Internet, and this can thus positively influence sales.

References

  1. Extending the Definition of Social CRM destinationcrm.com. Accessed on 07/23/2014

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