Magazine article CRM Magazine

What Is Social CRM? and How Can It Help My Company?

Magazine article CRM Magazine

What Is Social CRM? and How Can It Help My Company?

Article excerpt

Probably one of the most buzzworthy and least understood topics in Customer Relationship Management in the past three years is the concept of social CRM (sCRM). Regardless of how it's defined (and there is no precise definition), there really isn't much of an argument that it adds a whole new communications channel between customers and companies. What makes it really interesting is that it is a channel open for all to view, and its transparency demands a level of authentic and honest communication which hasn't always been the norm for customer communications.

In the following pages of CRM magazine's Best Practices in Social CRM, we invited providers of sCRM solutions to offer their insights into how organizations should be serving this new and open channel of communication. Not surprisingly, most of our contributors chose to look at sCRM from the perspective of customer service. Considering that social networks have introduced a risk factor to company's brands and reputations which just wasn't in play five years ago, many organizations have certainly jumped into the social media fray motivated by a need to develop a defensive strategy to protect themselves, rather than to get "closer" to their customers. Monitoring tools were developed; Facebook and Twitter accounts were created; and an era of corporate-sponsored social media fumbling around has ensued as many organizations have adopted a ready, shoot, aim approach.

But this mix of chaos, hyperbole, and indecision created by the rapid participation in social networks (by seemingly everyone on the planet) has also begot solid business strategies focused on driving substantial business value from this new and rapidly expanding channel of customer communication. …

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