In an era of social media where technology makes it easier for us to connect with people, it is ever more important for companies to implement a social media strategy. In this blog I will summarize a webinar I attended, presented by David Beard, CRM Principal of Sage Technologies Limited, on the topic of Social Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
In the webinar David talks about why CRM is important and how social media can benefit your business. CRM is about managing your acquisition, selling and service interactions with current and future customers. Social CRM is a strategy that uses CRM tools and techniques with the processes of a business to engage customers on a regular basis.
Companies are enhancing their cost reduction strategies with revenue generating strategies. Investments in sales automation and demand creation is seen as a must do with a shift from a narrow functional focus to a holistic, end-to-end process outcome.
How can Social Media benefit Your Business?
Sales, marketing and customer service have become more customer-centric and communication focused. You are able to attract new business, sell products and services, and look after your customers in a more efficient way than before.
According to a survey done by Market Probe International and Twitter:
64% of social media users have shared a positive experience about a business online
70% of social media users have re-tweeted content from small and medium sized companies
72% of people are more likely to make a future purchase from a small and medium sized company after they follow or interact with them on Twitter
73% of social media users follow small and medium sized companies to get product updates
82% of social media users are more likely to recommend a company they follow to friends and family
If you successfully implement Social CRM your:
Customer Service teams can become more proactive by identifying and resolving issues with customers and establish a two way communication through social media. By creating a community around your social network, you enhance brand loyalty and grow your business by incorporating customer feedback much quickly.
Sales teams can close business on the go and get in touch with prospects much faster using relevant social media that is appropriate for the business. They can generate new leads by listening to customers and catering your sales process accordingly. With social media, sales teams can evaluate the effectiveness of social prospecting which won’t be possible through other sales initiatives.
Employees can increase productivity by having customer related info in one central location where they can access them instantly. They can also communicate with customers and maintain conversations in one place rather than sending unproductive e-mails back and forth. You have an open platform to communicate with customers, and you can also create private groups to share information with a selected few and communicate effectively.
Business departments can now step outside the traditional hierarchy and look at the company horizontally with a greater visibility. They are now able to communicate information to the company as a whole and get information much quickly as opposed to relying on a few individuals.
Marketing teams can now concentrate resources on what works. By enabling the social CRM, they can now follow their brand ambassadors and interact with influencers of all kinds to better market their product. Marketing teams can target customers more precisely and focus their marketing resources effectively. They can also measure the effectiveness of social marketing and allocate resources accordingly.
Management can now prioritize the allocation of resources based on what works and what doesn’t. With social CRM, sending notifications and other cross communications to employees become much easier and productive.
How you can start?
Pick a social network that works for you
Talk to customers but resist selling
Establish long-term relationships
Encourage customer engagement
Let social media inform your business
What you can do next?
Ask how you can implement social CRM
Determine which tools are right for your business
Promote social CRM inside your business
Sage CRM is a powerful tool that enables a business to build, retain and service a solid customer base by providing an excellent customer experience. By leveraging social CRM, businesses can get the right product to the right customer on time and every time. For more information about Sage CRM, please call us at 1-866-320-8922.