In my first post, when I described social CRM, I emphasized that it is not only about responding to the customers’ conversations, it’s also about taking new initiatives. It is not supposed to be reactive, it needs to be proactive. These views are again reflected in recent posts by Sherrie and Mark Cuban: don’t let your customers tell you what to do; and, instead, take their feedback, hear their pain, listen to what's broken, and then do something beyond their imaginations.
For doing something like this, you need an ability to relate what you hear with how you imagine, think and act. What is needed is seamless integration of social CRM with the market research, business intelligence, analytics, and business strategy. In his interesting recent post, Forrester Analyst, James Kobielus, shows the similar concern and advises his clients to ramp up the automation of more and more social CRM functions while hubbing their multichannel initiatives around customer data integration initiatives, including enterprise data warehouses and data management processes. According to him, such integration and automation of social CRM within a multichannel strategy influences:
How how much you listen
It enables listening and engagement across a large volume and variety of user-generated, influencer-generated, and brand-generated content. This content includes social media platforms, CRM and other transactional systems, web surveys, analytics, focus groups, satisfaction ratings, and market research services.
How well you engage
It supports more fine-grained customization of events, promotions, campaigns, brands, communities, medias, sources, and topic-specific listening/engagement functions, thereby enabling more in-depth conversations across the CRM lifecycle.
How fast you understand what you hear:
It supports accelerated issue detection, response, routing, escalation, resolution, agent productivity, and ideation. It enables reduction in personnel-assisted interactions and deflection of calls across all stakeholders in the CRM lifecycle to the community regarding brand, product, and customer service issues.
How you imagine, think and act on what you hear:
It enables stakeholders to access and apply more comprehensive, in-depth analytics across the CRM lifecycle, including dashboards, reports, KPIs, alerts, trending, predictive models, social network analysis, influencer analysis, segmentation, churn analysis, upsell/cross-sell analysis, market basket analysis, and next-best offer.
That means social CRM does not imply that social media will somehow become the most important CRM channel of all, marginalizing or obsoleting others, but it just suggest to integrate, capitalize and built on the new sources of customer intelligence.