Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Social Media To Provide A New 360 Customer Relationship Management

Social Media is a great new medium that has been emerging now for about 3 years. Marketers are still defining the use of it on the long term, but we can have a clear view that social media change dramatically the marketing approach of customers. Prior to social media, CRM was based on customizing a customer relationship management, based on company owned data. It was pretty difficult already, but the goal was to limit cost and have an appropriate message, upon customers needs.

But social media has open the picture and it is clear that it will have a great impact on both customer experience and service. Therefore, in a global customer relationship management approach, you could have different company's department that would use social media abilities to create this great online customer experience. I found that great article on line, which explains well how to use social media for a customer relationship strategy:

  • SUPPORT DEPARTMENT: Strategic engagements in social media start therefor on the support side as we can see with companies like Comcast, Ford, Dell and many others.
  • PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: A natural next step is to leverage the experience in the service and support departments to drive down product development cost, get early market feedback and in particular support during the product launch phase.
  • LOGISTICS AND PROCUREMENT: Social media is probably the most effective and the least expensive early warning system for everybody involved in procurement, logistics and production planning challenges.
  • SALES & MARKETING: With the experience from support, product development and logistics it is a natural to now leverage social media in sales and marketing. Why at last? Only happy customers become advocates, helper in the word of mouth campaign or any other function to help create buzz and become buzz drivers into a market. Frustrated customers do the other way around. So starting in marketing - while very counter intuitive - is probably the biggest mistake you can make when you engage in social media.
Of course such changes would drive a some major changes in business organization. Therefore, it is important to have a clear view on how companies are thinking about using social media to run their business. And that is also the reason why a community manager is important, as it could coordinate company's efforts.