Monday, July 09, 2012
At this point, most companies realize that customer relationship management (CRM) tools are a powerful asset for organizations in virtually any industry of any size. With CRM, a business can gain significant knowledge about its current and prospective customers, knowledge that can be used to improve the company's product and service offerings. This is especially true when CRM applications are combined with social media networks.
Social CRM has many uses. According to Vivian Wagner, writing for CRM Buyer, one of the most valuable of these is the technology's ability to help businesses learn from their customers.
To emphasize this point, Wagner highlighted the case of financial service site Adaptu. Jenna Forstrom, the site's community manager, told Wagner that a number of the company's customers choose to share personal information about their finances. By monitoring these public conversations, Forstrom noted, her company gleans a significant amount of information about how to best serve its customers. Adaptu can create content and crowdsource ideas, as well, improving the company's overall operations and offerings.
Of course, not all, or even most, of Adatpu's customers are willing to share such information. However, as Forstrom pointed out, it is likely that an issue affecting one customer also affects others. By extrapolating, the company gains a significant degree of insight into its customer base as a whole.
Customer is Key
Irving Fain, writing for Betanews, recently reinforced this notion by arguing that the key to an effective social CRM strategy is focus on the customer. Specifically, he argued that the technology should be used to develop long-term relationships with customers. Social CRM is far more intimate than traditional models, allowing for a deeper, more powerful connection between customer and business that translates into increased loyalty and brand advocacy.