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Three major differences between CRM and Social CRM and how to deal with them

June 12, 2013
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sun tzuI keep reading stories about Customer-Relationship-Management (CRM) and Social CRM and why it is important to respond to people in Social and to extend Social CRM processes, practices and organizations to Social.

Some of this I buy.  But still, looking at Social CRM as “CRM extended to Social” is a major simplification at a minimum …

Social CRM clearly differs from the conventional CRM in three ways:

1 ) Online users are not necessarily customers

In the traditional call center, the first thing an agent checks when you call up is your product ID. This is to make sure whether you are actually entitled to a response. If you are not a customer, you will be sent to a different call center where you will be screened as a prospect. Such screening is a major part of the process and a key driver to ROI.

Contrary to customer call centers, online users visiting a brand’s social sites are not necessarily its customers. In social media channels, anyone can write and tweet anything about a brand: customers, prospects, non-customers, people you would never sell to, press, high or low influencers, competitors, former employees, lobbyists…

2) The discussion is public

Most brands have developed different value propositions to different customer segments. Sometimes it does not make sense to disclose these value propositions to people who are not “on target”.

Take McDonald’s. They own Chipotle. Chipotle is all organic. When Chipotle advocates to the masses to eat organic, they must be careful not to shy people away from other McDonald’s brands.

3) The objective of the discussion is changed

CRM as we used to know it was all about achieving a positive outcome. It is naive to say that this is the same on Social.

I remember discussions with C Harbulot  from the “Institut de Guerre Economique” in Paris, telling about how sophisticated an attack can be built up on social.

Sometimes establishing a relation is the answer, sometimes shutting up or even conflict avoidance is a better approach.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 5, 2013 9:14 pm

    Hmmmm….I’m not sure about this. I agree that CRM assumes ‘you’ are already a customer. However I feel that CRM was/is a ‘social’ way to engage with the customer – BUT it is on the company’s terms. Social Media has changed the rules, has changed the game – Yes the customer wants to be engaged ‘socially’ BUT on THEIR terms. This is why Social Media is a game changer..whilst I am convinced of the potential, it does require a cultural re-think within the organisation, and THROUGHOUT the organisation.

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