Understanding the Differences in Social and Traditional CRM
Social CRM is a strategy. It’s a philosophy, not just software and technologies to gather and manage customer data, though such technologies support social strategies. On the other hand, traditional CRM aims to move customers through a pipeline with the desired end result of repeat business and incremental sales.
Social CRM – the integration of social media with customer relationship management (CRM) strategies – is the next frontier for organizations that want to optimize the power of social interactions to get closer to customers.
With the worldwide explosion of social media usage, businesses are feeling extreme pressure to be where their customers are. Today, that street corner is increasingly virtual, located inside a social media or social networking site. But in an environment defined by customer control and two-way dialog, are customers anxious to engage with businesses?
Typically, marketing, sales, and customer service departments manage and maintain the CRM system. Traditional CRM largely is a customer data bucket. Any and all information that can be collected about a customer is dumped into the CRM bucket, with intentions to better target customers.
It was and still remains very effective and valuable at doing exactly that.
However, traditional CRM is most effective when a business determines the media for reaching its customers media that the business controls.
Customers’ preferred communication channels are evolving and greatly varied. Customers hang out in online media that your business doesn't control, they’re constantly influencing their own experience with your brand, and they’re in control of their experience with brands.
Customer influence over a brand drives the socialization of business and changes in CRM.
Businesses used to own the media in which they would interact with their customers. Now, customer relationships take place in media outside of a business’s control. Customers determine where and when to engage with businesses in social CRM.
Applications of Social CRM
Social CRM has applications in marketing, customer service and sales, including:
- peer-to-peer customer support
- idea management
- market research
- product launch
- brand reputation management