The rapid proliferation and adoption of social media has steadily led to the need for customer engagement on social media platforms. The customer relationship life cycle has undergone a transformation with social media communication turning into a distinct channel to reach customers.
Traditionally, CRM worked only within the confines of brick and mortar spaces and within stipulated business hours. However, with the growing need to stay connected 24×7, conversations have moved beyond this space and assumed a whole new level. This convergence of business models along with social media has taken the form of what we now call Social CRM.
Not just providing real-time insights on an individual level, social CRM allows businesses to gather and collate customer feedback by understanding trends in customer sentiment, customer service expectations and other factors on a global level.
So what does Social CRM actually bring to the table?
Simplified and streamlined processes
One of the primary benefits of adopting a tool for Social CRM is how it enables businesses to draw a more transparent and straightforward insight into customer preferences and sales processes. Social CRM can carry the unique benefit of process improvements across lead and customer interactions. By channelizing all forms of customer outreach under one umbrella, including phone, email, chat and social media, Social CRM offers enterprises the goal of consistency in voice, thereby facilitating better processes and more efficient conversion rates. By aligning online sales, marketing and customer service efforts on one plane, social CRM seeks to enable a more open and interactive channel of communication, moving away from the traditional one-way communication dynamic.
Increased research and development capabilities
As we are in the age of social media, more often than not, consumers are aware of the prospective steps in the evolution of a product or a service; in fact a notch higher than what enterprise leaders might think. With social CRM, enterprises can get a feel of what consumers are speaking about, much ahead into the product life cycle, thereby giving enterprises a competitive edge to be proactive and go the extra mile in their thinking strategies. This ultimately benefits the product in question. Not just that, by facilitating an integrated view of online interactions through digital analytics, Social CRM can significantly improve marketing ROI, thanks to the information gathered that allows companies to better target their products to a particular group of customers, leading to better development of products or services. Social CRM can also improve a company’s ability to market itself effectively by gaining insight and exploring new market segments.
Encouraging interaction between customers
Social media has always enabled customers to interact with one another and share product feedback and customer experiences with each other. This has provided a good opportunity for shared support and increased dialogue between companies and their customers. Social CRM provides methods for identifying issues and questions, and alerts businesses to respond in real time.
Improved competitive intelligence and better strategic outlook for marketing campaigns
A good CRM facilitates competitor analysis that can be accessed by a company-wide system. With social CRM, enterprises can keep a tab on their competitors’ customer conversations and gauge factors like sentiment and share of voice, which can be used to directly improve their own marketing strategy.
By helping marketing teams identify customer feedback, CRM can help build business intelligence. As a central point for storing information, CRM systems provide a good deal of information about a business’s contacts and competitors, giving employees a bird’s eye view of all the key data needed to make deep analyses leading to generating comprehensive insights.
Increased scope for integration
There is more to Social CRM than what meets the eye. A two-way sync between your Social CRM and sales, marketing and customer service software opens out several avenues to explore different kinds of customer engagement opportunities. Take the example of Wells Fargo, a San Francisco-based international banking and financial services holding company. With more than 300 products and services on offer, they understand that their customers use a number of these, which means they work with different employees of the bank. With the help of its powerful CRM tool, Wells Fargo ensures that a seamless and easy network of customers and employees is created within the company, so that customers can find the right employees to interact with and have their questions answered. Listening to its customers via social channels helps the company respond more quickly and resolve customer issues.
At many organizations, Social CRM has gone beyond being just a “good-to-have” feature. It is a prominent tool needed to leverage the rich insights of social media, providing organizations an upper hand in productivity, product development, and the ability to build lasting relationships with their clients.
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