Passive information gathering is a thing of the past. You can no longer afford to only use customer relationship management (CRM) software to collect and analyze customer data. Businesses who attempt to apply those same observe-and-report tactics to their 21st century markets are likely to find themselves outmoded, outdated, and outsold. Social media is an important part of successful customer relationship management.
Still, you need to make sure that when you develop your Social CRM (sCRM) program that you are doing it in a way that meets your company’s needs as well as being time and cost-effective. By following these 10 guidelines for sCRM setup, you can ensure that your businesses is not left behind in the dust of stand-alone CRM.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Recent research from Nucleus shows that a majority of companies are not taking advantage of 80% of their CRM’s tools, including integration, collaboration, and extension options. Before you go shopping for the perfect sCRM for you, take a look at your current CRM’s capabilities. It’s very possible that the social integration you need is already in your pocket.
As with the adoption of any CRM program, you can’t just purchase a platform and hope that everyone in your organization suddenly gets on board. Social CRM, more than any other type of customer management program, needs to be adopted by all levels of an organization to be able to be most effective. As such, you need to get every department working together to make it functional.
Set User Guidelines
Around the time your entire staff is sharing pictures of yodeling pandas on your sCRM, you might wish that you had paid more attention to this commandment. Any new technology has the potential to be misused, but sCRM can be particularly damaging if not closely regulated. Specifically outlining appropriate sCRM use can save you thousands in wasted payroll and embarrassing brand misrepresentations.
Remember, sCRM is not only about marketing and analytical data to drive sales. Social CRM is a two-way street where you share information with customers and they should feel comfortable sharing information with you. Don’t see this need to share as an attack, but as a way to improve your services and drive much-needed growth in your organization.
Choose Point People
The question is, do you really want Angry Karl handling customer complaints on Facebook? Of course not. And yet, some businesses expect everyone to equally participate in the sCRM without a coaching team. Although you could always replace Carl with someone more friendly, it might make more sense to ensure that a designated “Point Person” is always available to monitor non-social employees keep your brand image untarnished.
One of the true joys of integrating social media with a traditional CRM is that the fantastic automations that you use to send emails and manage shipments can be applied to your social presence. Some sCRMs even allow you to set up user groups for individual social media platforms and automate sales funnel tasks to make a virtually passive income stream.
Stop, Collaborate, and Listen
It’s time to take some sCRM advice from Vanilla Ice and make your main goal collaboration and customer awareness. Social CRM connects customer data with online usage and activity to create a rich understanding of the way your customers think. It also allows your employees to connect and create with each other in new ways. By making collaboration your sCRM goal, you’ll be amazed at the development ideas and organizational improvements created by both employees and customers.
Don’t Ignore Data
Even if collaboration is your key goal, don’t make the mistake of ignoring all the juicy information that your sCRM is going to provide you. Analytics driven by social media are often more detailed, as each social platform has access to a wealth of information that’s not readily available. Integrating these aspects gives you a powerhouse CRM that allows you to tailor your marketing and sales tactics on a person-to-person basis.
Nucleus Research recently showed that CRM programs that combine social elements and mobility results in sales productivity increases of more than 26%. Give your sales team the option of managing their CRM from the go. When you make sales forecasts, lead management, and social analysis available to your team at a flick of their touchscreen, they’ll make more money in less time. And, that’s always good for business.
One of the biggest lapses in CRM protocol generally is the lack of conversion tracking. In fact, shocking statistics from Beagle Research shows that nearly half (44%) of sales professionals aren’t tracking sales or leads from their social media marketing campaigns. Social CRM gives you the tools to know where your sales are coming from and how to make more.
What do you think?
Social CRM is no flash-in-the-pan gimmick: it’s the future of business. Failure to integrate your CRM systems with your social platforms can affect much more than your bottom line. Your very brand image can be at stake if you’re not actively engaging your social prospects and tracking those interactions through an integrated CRM.
By following these 10 sCRM rules, you can easily navigate through this new social market and build a brand that is unstoppable. Just remember that a CRM is no longer a tool for listening – it’s a tool for learning and growing.