A brief document covering the basics of Social CRM. How it has Superchooh
evolved and why and how it should be integrated into business a research
operations using social technologies.
Social CRM: What, why and how?
What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is, as the name suggests, about managing the
relationships a company have with your customers, which might be potential or current i.e. anyone
in the complete sales funnel. It’s a mixture of business processes and technologies with various
consumers touch points like sales, marketing, customer support and feedback etc.
What is Social CRM?
Social media and technologies have brought about a fundamental change in the way we work in our
communications pipeline. We now have to deal with conversations and personal relationships. And
the relevant conversations are not just about company to consumer anymore, it’s also about
consumers to consumers. In this world of status updates, tweets and forum discussions such
conversations can give an unmatchable insight.
Paul Greenberg, a leader in Social CRM defines it as such:
“CRM is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules,
workflow, processes & social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative
conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business
environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.”
The following diagram, which has been taken from a presentation at Deloitte represents the
transition from CRM to Social CRM:
And the following diagram explains the simple reasons why a company needs to adapt to the above
underlined social strategies:
And this has led to the evolution of CRM 1.0 to CRM 2.0, better referred to as Social CRM.
What is the difference between Social Media and Social CRM?
Social Media is a platform for consumption of medium running mostly on digital signals like internet
and sometimes mobile. Its main differentiating factor from a normal digital website is that such a
medium will have functionalities built in to connect users together.
Social CRM on the other hand is a business strategy from the organisation’s side, and not the end
user. Such a business strategy aims to insert such social functionalities and its use cases into business
operations like feedback, sales and customer support etc. Social CRM is a strategy which fits into
every department like IT, marketing etc. instead of living in a silo.
Some foreseen benefits of Social CRM
• Raise Marketing ROI thanks to better targeting, better product solution, customer
experience and word-of-mouth.
• Gain insights to explore new market segments and improve marketing effectiveness
• Identify new business opportunities and improve cross/up-sell abilities through increasing
contact with existing and potential customers
• Cut sales commissions costs by building community around the brand
• Increase R&D capabilities and innovation through tapping into the collective intelligence of
your target audience
• Increase customer loyalty by promoting transparent dialogue and improving
employee/customer interaction efficiency
• Decrease customer service costs through self-helping communities
Social CRM implementation Areas
Thought leader Jeremiah Owyang presents the 18 different use cases of Social CRM on his
How has CRM technology evolved to meet the needs of Social CRM?
Tools for Social CRM – Engaging the Social and CRM aspects
The Social CRM experts have specified these two types of functions that a tool can perform:
The processes that underlie social CRM and its application to business start with active listening.
Platforms like Alterian's SM2, Sysomos' Heartbeat, and Radian6 provide the tools - including the
critical workflow elements – are very much needed to take the first step towards a complete Social
CRM strategy i.e. listening. Tied together with tools like BuzzStream or Salesforce.com, a robust
enthusiast/influencer view of your markets can be had. Brands ranging from mid-size national firms
like India's Cafe Coffee Day to global brands like Philips are using listening programs to more fully
understand - in near real time - what their customers are thinking.
Social Applications and Collaboration
“Get your customers or constituents working together and you've taken a huge step in creating a
Examples of engaging social applications and collaborative platforms range from incorporating more
pronounced social CRM capability to the Dell and Starbucks "ideation" apps built on Salesforce.com.
India's Hindustan Times has created its "Talk to HT" in exactly this same spirit. Right after "ideation,"
customer support is the next front in social CRM. Salesmanship begins when the customer says "No,"
as the old saying goes. So, customer support begins when the customer says "Yes."
Platforms from Lithium and Jive provide not only "self service" cost benefits, but do it in ways that
actually raise levels of satisfaction. GetSatisfaction.com operates here as well and, with its $300
"connector" to other best-of-class service providers.
In Indian vendors, Bangalore based CRM software firm, Taslima Corporation Pvt. Ltd. wants to
leverage with tools that integrate social media sites with latest generation enterprise resource
planning software. They plan to launch the first generation Social CRM products in the market, which
will be targeted across verticals, but predominantly for B2C transactions.
What is the future of the industry?
The CRM market, estimated at $8-9 billion globally, is pegged at just $70-80 million in India, though
predicted to clock a CAGR of 30-35% over the next few years. It has been logging one of the highest
growth rates in the world, making it the third-largest market in the Asia-Pacific region.
The graph shows the presence of Fortune Global 500 companies on Social Media, for reaching out to
the customer. Since Social CRM is still in its nascent stages, the interpretation and implementation
by different organizations is varied.
Walmart, Dell, Comcast, Toyota, Domino's, among others, have been proactively addressing
customer concerns on Facebook. If questions cannot be immediately answered, their social reps
normally direct "fans" to a Web page, toll-free number, or customer service e-mail address in a
But there are other types of simple-yet-interesting CRM/loyalty tactics being used. Toyota has been
constantly posting comments under "fan" car photos as it continues to reach out to consumers in
the wake of its scandal. A post on March 21 read, "Congrats on the new Tacoma, T.J.! Thank you and
your family for your continuous support." Seven other similarly toned comments were posted by the
Toyota rep within the same hour on that evening. The copy was often akin to post-sales-conversion
"Thank You" e-mail subject lines.
Many firms use their posts to address rising CRM situations on the fly. For instance, Domino's
recently remedied a potential customer-service headache via Facebook before it could go viral.
Here's the pizza chain, alerting "fans" about the looming issue at-hand: "Just a note to all our fans,
there's a page floating around on Facebook that claims to be giving out $50 Domino's Pizza
vouchers. This is NOT something we are sponsoring, involved in or supporting."
What are the upcoming challenges?
• It is difficult to break free of current systems and integrate social technologies with it. Social
business is not about the tool, it’s about a cultural shift.
• There is a great battle for business platforms brewing. Look around for the potential
platform owners, and position your business to be able to leverage the platform(s) and data
regardless of who ultimately wins that battle.
• The Social Web is on a collision course with the enterprise. Those companies that
understand the coming changes and are positioned to harness the data and translate real
time information into effective action will be those that experience the largest success over
the coming decade.