Blog post written by Robert Neumann. Robert is a former blogger on Blogpodium and is a Consultant within Accentures CRM Service Line with a focus on Sales Transformation.
“Social CRM isn’t just another communication channel to market”.
Following-up on my last blog entry, I found a blog about the current status of social CRM and where it could go next: Social CRM at a crossroads? According to the author social CRM evolved from an innovative new tool used by a few companies to a mainstream functionality that practically all companies use (in one way or another). The big question is what to do with it now and how to really create value with this new technology?
The author outlines three main possibilities:
- A new communications channel, used to communicate and market to new customer groups, but doing it mainly from the perspective of the company (and not the customer).
- A new social CRM technology solution, implemented in order to follow the crowd and “have it”, but failing to create real value.
- A way to co-create value together with customers, incorporating the perspective of the company, the customer and their touch points. Based on this understanding value can be created for both parties.
While the author sees the third option as the only one providing sustainable success for companies implementing social CRM, Dutch banks and insurance companies are still very much figuring out which way they would like to go. I do recognize abovementioned options one and two among them, but have not yet seen anything that really goes beyond that.
And this is the step a lot of companies need to start thinking about right now. The emergence and increasing usage of social media and other Web 2.0 tools has dramatically altered the ways in which companies interact with their customers. If they want to make social CRM something sustainable or something more than just the next hype, they need to make it more than a communication channel or another CRM functionality. They need to make it part of their overall CRM concept, something that is fully incorporated in their sales and service strategy. Companies should adopt a “social CRM” strategy.
I’m very much looking forward to the first Dutch bank or insurance that manages to do that. Or, even better, help to develop and implement it.
What do you think is next? What should companies do to respond to these changes?