Does Social Media have a role in CRM?
I was asked by a client the other day whether Social Media should have been documented more in a CRM specification. I said that I had presumed so, but when I tried to define tasks or information requirements that overlapped CRM to Social Media a short paragraph seemed to do the job.
I am not diminishing the value of Social Media. But Social Media is about a conversation and the extension of Customer Relationship Management is not Customer Conversation Management.
Listening is more important than talking, preaching or promoting. The latter does not encourage or enhance engagement, listening does.
So back to CRM. I guess you could record a customer’s FB page, twitter account, Linked in page and so-on. But that is just like recording phone numbers, it does not mean you are or will listen to them or learn from them what interests them, excites them, annoys them, even what they think about you and what you do.
I think the missing link is legwork. Sorry for the mixed analogies, but the legwork of listening is essential, whether automated or manual. Listening to Social Media channels may result in learning and provide the trigger for activity. That trigger may be a complaint, compliment, indication of a prospect or a warning of a defector (maybe lapsing subscriber is less inflamatory). Various Social media channels need to be monitored for triggers and when a trigger is identified, a CRM may then assist in managing the customer incident, communication, activity, induction, loyalty, upgrade, re-attraction and other stages of an ongoing, developing and evolving relationship.
Therein lies the challenge, identifying triggers by the action of listening to the multitude of conversations. A CRM can record Social Media identifiers, integration will eventually enable the monitoring of the social media channels for individuals. However, intelligence will be required to be added to that listening to accurately identify triggers for the proactive (even just reactive) management of the relationship.
Then we get to the issue of privacy … oh boy – let’s leave that for another day.