Seven Ideas for Creating a Social CRM Program.

December 14, 2012

This week I led a discussion for the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) on the topic of Social CRM.  Having worked with accounting firm marketers and having been one myself, I know that three of the topic challenges that they face are:

  • CRM
  • Social Media
  • Content Generation

So you can imagine how difficult it is to have a conversation about CRM converging with Social. For those of you who are new to this terminology, Social CRM is a newer term that simply involves leveraging intelligence gathered through social connections and integrating them into a CRM program. Any effective CRM systems analyzes all of the information about individual and also looks at collective data with the goal of serving customers better. Social CRM allows us to better provide the personalized and customized experiences that consumers are beginning to expect.  Adding a social component to CRM gives an organization a greater look into their target market and also gives them additional channels to serve them.

Here are seven general ideas that I shared during the conversation:

  1. Let’s stop calling it CRM. We love our acronyms, but let’s starting thinking about what it actually is. It’s Customer Relationship Management. It’s not just a fancy piece of technology. It’s a process and a culture. It’s a plan for improving how you help your customers.
  2. Encourage everyone to own your CRM – it’s not just a tool that the marketing tool uses. It’s a way of thinking about how you can always be serving clients and identifying opportunities.
  3. Look at the data that you are collecting and ask WHY you need it. How are you going to act on it? It can be very frustrating for people to provide information that is never used. If you don’t plan on using the data, perhaps collect something different.
  4. Like CRM, social networking should be shared and built into the culture of an organization. Teaching people how to properly collect and leverage information can help prove the value of these newer marketing channels.
  5. Marketing departments can take ownership by helping to create processes for collecting information and for training people to think like a service provider (even when you are selling a product). Training can range from high level theory to practical training on the technology tools.
  6. Hold an annual review of all of the data that you collect to identify big pictures opportunities. We often use data for mailings, invitations, etc., but don’t always take the time to look for patterns and trends that can lead to new products/services or better ways to add value.
  7. Make sure that you have the right technology. Many CRM systems are now linking contact accounts to social networks making the hunt for information a bit easier. Take your time to identify you business goals before choosing the technology that will support them.

Social CRM is just a fancy term for two activities that many businesses already engage in.  The way to make it work is to be strategic and to make sure that you have the right people, tools and process in place before you begin.   Have you implemented a social CRM program? Please share your stories.