If your organization hasn’t adopted social CRM, don’t feel so bad. Most folks are in the same boat as you.
Social CRM may seem like the topic du jour, but in reality most of the market isn’t adopting the principles or technology needed to truly make it work. More people don’t even know what it is.
This is the current state of social CRM adoption – at least according to Awareness Inc., which recently covered the topic in its State of Social Marketing report. The survey found that 16% of respondents were using a “social CRM system”, while 17% didn’t know what social CRM was. 21% percent said they weren’t using social CRM, but planned to. But a whopping 46% simply said they didn’t use social CRM.
A quick caveat: Awareness doesn’t define what a social CRM system is. Many within the industry would say there is no one system, but a mix of technologies, strategies and pre-defined goals. But Awareness does say a social CRM system when widely adopted “will integrate social prospect and customer data with traditional sales and marketing data.”
That definition, while broad, provides good insight into what’s going on in the market. Too many organizations are struggling to make sense of social media. Lots of marketers are just getting their feet wet, and their measurements aren’t tied back to the big business outcomes they’re expected to achieve – conversions, leads and revenue, for instance.
This real need has catapulted social CRM into the limelight, making it a favorite discussion of panels, webinars and bloggers. But like many cursed with fame, it suffers from being misunderstood.
To become more widely adopted, organizations need to better understand what social CRM is. To do that, they need to understand the following three elements.
1. Social CRM is about Making Customers Feel Valued
As the name suggests, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was designed to improve businesses’ relationships with customers and prospects. It never pulled the whole thing off. Social CRM isn’t just about adding channels like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to customer buying histories. It’s about meeting buyers where they want to communicate and making them feel valued.
2. It’s as Much about Culture as it is about Tools
Social CRM certainly requires some technology. You need to be able to hear and respond to what your customers are saying both you and to your market. Still, simply jumping on Facebook and installing some software won’t make you successful. You need internal support, a real desire to tighten the relationship between customer and brand, along with tangible and intangible resources to make it work. If the culture isn’t right, it won’t thrive.
3. It’s about Trust
Plain and simple. In the past, a brand could rely on reputation and market saturation. If you were the biggest game in town, customers would rely on you to educate them. Over time that trust has shifted from institutions to individuals. Social CRM provides the ability to scale one-to-one relationships, not only building trust with customers but the people customers trust.