CRM and Social Media

Sage’s CRM expert, David Beard asks  are you being social with your customer relationship management strategy? So, what’s this all got to do with the customer-relationship software you use and your business’ customer strategy?

Let’s start with the software first.  You are likely to be using customer-relationship software  to help your lead prospecting activities.  Capturing names & interests is at the very heart of of customer-relationship software.  Yet, those same prospect records can be greatly enriched through the information available on through Social Media outlets.  Information such as:

  • What topics are important to them?
  • Who else are they talking to?
  • What are they saying experiences (products & more)?

You can use information from these sites to help enrich a prospect’s record as part of building your  customer relations program.  That’s converting time spent on social media sites into revenue for your business.  Information from these sites can be fed directly into CRM – be that ACT!, Sage CRM or SalesLogix, informing & improving your direct marketing activities.

Relating Social media to your customer strategy – listening for & managing the content.

Your investment in CRM is key to your customer retention strategy.  Ensuring you stay relevant in to customers, both before and after a sale.  But without social media interaction, you can only “know” about the conversations you have directly with them.  What happens when they talk about you in other forums – blogs, forums, social networking sites, etc?

Investing time in social media outlets provides you with an opportunity to ‘listen in’ to the conversations being discussed. You can develop an understanding of your customers and benefit from insights within their communities.  Further, with businesses getting more than half of their customers through word of mouth, staying tuned in & monitoring the flow of conversation will give insights to other prospects & encourage the flow across these informal networks.

Listening in also gives you a chance to improve customer relations when things go wrong for a customer.  By tuning in to relevant conversations, you can dramatically improve your chances of finding unhappy customers quickly and addressing their issues before they do serious damage to your brand.

An investment in CRM software is only partially realised without a matching customer strategy.  Harnessing Social Media is an essential part of your business’ customer strategy & key to keeping customers.