As we speak with customers and prospective customers about integrating social analytics with CRMs, we are often asked the following question:
What’s the difference between a CRM and a SCRM? In a word: social.
The customer relationship management (CRM) models of days gone by represented a one-way street. Efforts were made to the customer, but there was very little, if any, dialogue with the customer. The technology generally allowed the business to collect, organize, and manage data collected from interactions such as phone calls, face-to-face meetings, or emails. That was all well and good.
But then the customer got social and it became a bit more difficult to track and manage those relationships.
Suddenly the customers were reaching out to businesses on Facebook and Twitter, expecting that each person they talked to on those channels would be familiar with the customer’s relationship and background with the company.
Traditional CRM tools simply weren’t going to cut it anymore. Now businesses needed a way to track customer relationships, not just through the traditional methods (face-to-face, phone, and email), but also across social platforms.
Enter the SCRM: the social customer relationship management tools.
CRMs grew to become social CRMs by way of necessity. If the customer changes, then business and its tools change, too.
The difference between a traditional CRM and the buzz-worthy social CRM is that the social CRM tools allow a business to track its relationship to a customer or prospect across social platforms.
It used to be that just a few departments concerned themselves with CRM. Those departments were generally sales, marketing, and customer support. While those departments still play a vital role with social CRM, Public Relations is also added to the mix.
In fact, PR has naturally evolved to become a driving force in social customer relationship management. When you consider that PR is the department that really deals with presenting the business to the public in a favorable light, it makes sense that they are also often tasked with managing a company’s social media presence.
In a post for Mashable, however, Maria Ogneva argues that no one department owns customer relationship management anymore. Marketing, PR, Sales, Support – everyone now works together, focused on the customer. And to be successful, that’s the way it should be. Social CRM should be a company-wide initiative with everyone involved.
We’re living in a customer-centric business world. When everyone in a business gets involved, there’s engagement and interaction. There’s collaboration. No longer are we dealing with a one-way street.
As Jacob Morgan points out in an article for Social Media Examiner, businesses and customers are working together to shape the customer experience and develop solutions to problems they face.
Paul Greenberg, who is considered by many to be one of the top thought-leaders when it comes to social CRM, has stated that the customer now owns the relationship.
What does that mean for you as a business owner? Well, if you know anything about your customers, you know that they’re very social. If you put two and two together, it means that you have to keep up with the customers now; not the other way around.
So the difference between customer relationship management and social customer relationship management might seem small, but it’s profoundly significant in today’s business landscape. In our customer-centric world, if you want to keep up, you need a social CRM to help give you a complete picture of your customer.