Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Customer Relationship Management Is Not About Tools, But About People

I could have chosen a different title for this video, but as I wanted a larger spectrum for the ideas of this video. This video has been filmed during last year Leweb event. Chris Pirillo is discussing about community.

Indeed community management is nowadays a hot topic for companies, and we see community management job description blossoming all over the Internet. Companies start to understand how important it is to connect with customers, and the great shift media are experiencing, from mass media like TV or newspaper, to the Internet, and especially social media.

But these companies are thinking in an empirical way, which might not be appropriate with the media. Indeed, there are tons of tools to drive these community activities, through services like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Foursquare among others. But what really matters, in order to make your community management strategy works, it is people.

People are the ones who create the community
You can not create your own community around your brand. People are. This is what explains in this video. What really matters, in order to create a strong community, is the culture your company has, the culture which surrounds its product, even more than the corporate culture, that might even be perceived in a different way.

You can not control nor create a community. You should guide them. This is a very interesting concept, because it links your branding and your community management strategies.

Your brand results in your brand culture, which you will be able to build your community on.

But this is the very same thing with customer relationship management. For so long people have been talking about CRM softwares and programs, occulting totally the ultimate goal, customer relationship. By focusing on the tools, they have created some non sense situation, where customer service and satisfaction has decreased, because the way the company interacts with them doesn't make anysense.

Both community and customer relationship management are linked. Community and social media is a new medium for customer relationship management. The different is that social media requires a new approach focused on people and not on tools.