Successful companies are continually striving to build stronger relationships with their customers to create customer loyalty.
Traditionally this was through effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM), in which companies’ sales, marketing, and service and support departments participated in providing the data and intelligence needed to build lasting bonds with their customers.
Online surveys conducted by IBM Global Business Services found corporations surveyed are aware of social media’s potential to help better manage customer relationships. Fully 70 percent of executives responding believe their companies will be seen as “out of touch” if they don’t use this medium, and more than 50 percent believe their competition is successfully using social media to reach customers. The survey found 79 percent of surveyed companies had a profile or a presence on a social networking site.
Some companies are using social media very effectively in customer relationship management. For instance, FedEx monitors Twitter and other social media sites to learn what is being said about the company.
To put social CRM to best use, use these four tips:
1. A two-way exchange. As consumers communicate with companies through social media, companies solve business problems and customers can better shape their own brand experiences.
2. Developing advocates. The goal of social CRM is to transform fans and followers on social media sites into customers and advocates of the brand.
3. Cut through the clutter. To use social CRM well, companies must find a way to rise above the noise of competing messaging, and give current and future customers compelling reason to reach out through social media sites.
4. Proceed cautiously. Statistics show a surprising number of companies fail to grasp the importance of social media in effective CRM. But a bigger issue might be that companies dash headlong into social CRM without identifying how the initiative will be used to benefit the company and its customers. The result: customers may perceive the company as offering not more, but less, value.
For more information on effectively integrating social media with CRM, contact Walt Denny Inc. at 630-323-0555, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.waltdenny.com.