What Is Social CRM and Should You Invest In It?
With evolving expectations from your customers, keeping up with their demands is necessary if you want your company to stay competitive. Thankfully, there is a tool that makes this complex task more manageable.
So, what is social CRM and why is it important? This tool has its roots in social media management, upgraded with traditional CRM functions like data collection, storage, and analysis. It’s crucial in tracking real-time customer insights and providing on-demand customer support.
In this article, we clarify the differences between this integration and the traditional customer relationship management software, and reveal ways your company can use CRM social tools to your advantage.
Social CRM: Where Customer Service Meets Analytics
Social CRM or social customer relationship management involves the integration of social media on your CRM platform. Most social media management technologies only focus on engagement and interaction, whereas social CRMs empower businesses to track, extract, and monitor data based on social interactions.
To put it simply, a social CRM allows your company to engage in standard customer service tasks, but it goes above and beyond by providing the tools to track hashtags, mentions, messages all in one platform.
Essentially, social media CRM integrates itself into customer-to-customer and customer-to-business interactions online, which can help you understand what your consumers think about your business.
Imagine not having to wonder what your customers, or the general market, say about your brand. Just by looking at your social dashboard, you get full access to:
- Direct and indirect hashtags, mentions involving your brand
- Customer-to-customer interactions, inquiries about your product or service
- Both customer sentiment and general online reputation
- Interested leads asking about your business online
- Social information that is otherwise inaccessible or difficult to find
Traditional CRM Vs Social CRM: What’s the Difference?
Distinguishing the “social” part of CRM can seem redundant; after all, customer relationship management software are designed to improve relationships. As such, they are inherently social in the first place.
However, there are some operational differences that separate social CRM from traditional CRM functions.
As an integration of social media platforms, it’s no longer about the company controlling the interaction and tracking static data like name, phone number, and email address the customers openly provide; social CRMs are able to collect dynamic information and data in the form of sentiment, opinions, and genuine interactions.
Social CRMs open up businesses to real-time interactions and information. It’s the digital equivalent of keeping an ear to the ground.
Because social CRM and traditional CRM store and analyze different data sets, their structures also tend to be distinctive:
Access and Management
In traditional CRM, important data is usually account-specified, meaning certain departments, individuals, and employees will have exclusive access to certain company and customer information.
Social CRM, on the other hand, is primed for ubiquitous, universal access. Customer interactions and preferences are designed for general use, regardless of account or position, so customer service reps can provide the best level of service, any time, anywhere.
With CRM, employees usually stick to business hours when utilizing customer information. When a lead leaves their email address on a landing page at 10 PM, your sales, marketing, or customer service team can use that interaction the following business day.
Meanwhile, social CRM doesn’t stick to definite business hours. The interactions it is focused on are inquiries through text, email, chat, or online messages, which means communication channels are open 24/7, as needed by your customers.
With the traditional customer relationship management software, your company has some form of influence over customer channels. You create the ads they click, you build the landing pages they visit, and you define the information they need to provide for contact forms.
With CRM social integration, your customers set the parameters for interaction. They can choose to text or call your business even if you prefer email. But even so, this platform consolidates the information scattered across all your channels so you can interpret it on one dashboard.
Nature of Interaction
CRMs are typically used to launch email marketing campaigns, drive targeted ads, and create the most effective landing page through A/B testing – all of which are driven by profit and selling. Even with content sharing and value provision, the approach is still very much transactional.
On the other hand, social CRMs are less about selling and more about genuine engagement. When customers get in touch with your company, the interaction is primarily driven by relationship building.
Why Do Businesses Need Social CRM?
As discussed, the ability to track social data is a significant advantage of adopting social CRM tools, but it also offers practical uses that will improve how your company does business.
Social customer relationship management platforms can help your company provide seamless customer service, regardless of the channel used.
With the development of modern technologies, customers are setting higher standards for what constitutes great customer support. Social CRM empowers your brand to do just that. Instead of having to repeat themselves, your support reps can pick right where you left off, making your company appear more streamlined, professional, and dedicated.
Practical Applications of Social CRM
Social CRMs aren’t just about data. There are practical day-to-day applications that your business can implement immediately:
1) Create Better Buyer Profile
Customers use various social media networks to engage with your brand and other users. With this tool, you can collect data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and use that with direct interactions with your customer to create a more accurate customer profile.
Instead of spending hours creating an estimation of their buyer profile, you can use insights from your dashboard and glean a more holistic understanding of their needs and expectations.
2) Genuine Social Engagement
An active online presence communicates accessibility and authenticity. Instead of hiding behind targeted ads, you can directly express your company philosophy and values, creating deeper, more meaningful connections with both old and new consumers.
A social media presence also allows you to participate in discussions about your industry. This way, your company has some level of influence over customer sentiment including any customer support issues, allowing you to rectify your online reputation as needed.
3) Know Your Online Reputation
One of the most attractive features of social CRM is social listening. Instead of relying on reviews to get inside your customer’s head, you could look into consumer opinions outside traditional channels like Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook reviews.
The best thing about social listening is that this is all passive. You don’t have to have a dedicated team to follow your brand reputation. You can set real-time notifications when certain triggers enter your system.
4) Perform Social Media Analytics
Use social data to help your company create more targeted ads, better-timed email campaigns, and new content your customers will actually enjoy. You can also use this to improve your lead acquisition techniques and develop a better lead qualification system.
Social stats are great KPIs to track alongside traditional sales metrics. Use likes, shares, messages, and follows to understand your brand’s social impact on the online market.
Does My Brand Need Social CRM?
Social CRM can provide easy solutions to business’ most complicated problems. Consider getting a CRM if:
- You have trouble or are unable to directly ask for customer feedback
- Relationship building is a crucial part of your business model
- You are an emerging brand in a saturated but unsatisfactory industry or market
- You have unique but complex values you can introduce to clients
- You want to decrease your churn rate and improve customer loyalty
- You want to improve your customer or product
Commence CRM is an all-around business solution for organizations of all sizes. We help your organization sell more, faster, and easier through dedicated tools and features. Schedule a demo with us today.