Sachin Karweer, Business Head, HGS Interactive shares his insight on the changing brand perceptions and reinventing customer relations.
If there is one thing that Social CRM has taught us, it is the fact that we are in the age of the Social Customer. There is a fundamental shift in the way the social customer communicates with each other and brands today. And it is the social customer that rules this ecosystem. On the other hand, for businesses, winning market share isn’t the only focus anymore; this is thanks to the rapid growth of information technology, communication technologies and the emergence of e-businesses. The prime agenda of smart brands is to engage with customers and retain them. At the same time, the customer and his expectations have evolved and they expect that brands ‘listen’ to them and respond instantly. In an environment defined by customer control and two-way dialogue, customers and brands need to be in sync with each other’s expectations.
Gone are the days of using traditional CRM approaches. In the present scenario, it’s the customers deciding the channels and driving conversations, and companies need to embrace this shift. Social CRM is the new reality and an effective way to handle this innovative change. Brands, both big and small, can interact with customers and improve relationships using a savvy Social CRM strategy that involves a customer-centric approach. Instead of simply managing customers, the role of the brand today is to facilitate collaborative experiences and be laser-focused on having a dialogue that the customer values.
The concept of Social CRM was born out of the integration of traditional customer relationship management, social media and evolving tech. The crux of Social CRM is to build a more personal relationship with customers by monitoring interactions and engagement, tracking behaviour and preferences, listening to their opinions and responding in a relevant manner, evaluating incoming data in terms of how it relates to the objectives and goals of the brands and deriving greater marketing insights from the data collected to improve offerings, identify trends and marketing opportunities.
Now that you know what lies within the core of Social CRM, let us delve deeper into its benefits and how brands can use it effectively to create a win-win situation for themselves and their customers alike.
Social CRM can help brands enrich their social customer support
At present, 80% of companies claim to deliver excellent customer service on social media, but only 8% of their customers agree. This shows that several brands lack proper social customer support. The need of the hour is a brand social CRM dashboard that serves as a customer service nerve centre that is alerted of every mention of the brand in real-time. This is how Social CRM enables a prompt response, supported by the customer’s interaction history across several social media channels which can serve as context for communication managers. Without using a comprehensive social CRM platform with integrated analytics and tools, brands will not be able to identify which customers to target and how to allocate appropriate resources to measure customer engagement. An effective Social CRM strategy can help brands make good use of the data and insights gathered and disseminate that information across different teams such as customer service, marketing and sales.
Social CRM can develop a brand’s social advertising
With a proper Social CRM strategy in place, a brand can give its influencers and advocates a sneak-peak into their latest products and offerings. They can use labels and auto-segmentation to remind their customers to make purchases and restock, basis their past purchases. Not just that, brands can also improve their social campaigns using Social CRM by utilizing the rich and deep insights gleaned through customer information and data generated via customer engagement on incoming channels. This data is crucial to drive future marketing decisions.
Social CRM can help tap into the brand’s audience
Using Social CRM software, brands can enjoy a 360-degree view of its current, as well as potential, customers. With the growth explosion of technologies, there are new and improved Social CRM user interfaces (UI) available in the market. Social CRM vendors have gone the extra mile to move towards a more user-friendly experience and user-modifiable interface, making it easy for brands to capture sales figures, leads, campaign performance, analytics and reports and reply in real-time to customers.
An intuitive UI can deliver information on a single customer, for instance, calculate how many of the brand’s customers voted on a Facebook link or “Liked” a Facebook post of the brand. Digging behind these seemingly superficial “Likes” offers intelligent insight into what the customer really needs and expects from a brand.
- Joseph Pine II, co-author of ‘The Experience Economy’ says, “Experiences are bigger than products and services alone”. This means a well-built Social CRM program can help support such experiences. No customer wants to feel that their voice is getting lost in a void with no one to answer them. Brands need to take action and solve their queries. A good UI and UX plays an extremely important role in ensuring that businesses are aware of the current happenings so they can, in turn, ensure that customers not only get what they need, but will also come back and transform into brand ambassadors. The focus is to turn satisfied customers into passionate customers! It has never been a better time than now to invest in enabling Social CRM. They can work as a powerful solution to help brands sell more effectively.
To wrap up, Social CRM is all about enabling engagement with the customer for the mutual benefit of the customer and the brand. Lack of a Social CRM strategy in place leaves a crack open for competitors and no brand wants that happening! With hordes of people joining this revolution, it is imperative that brands take the plunge and adopt Social CRM strategy that helps customers shape their perception about them.
With qualitative and quantitative intelligent data that brands gather through Social CRM, they will be in a better position to improve customer satisfaction, offerings, products, service quality and market share. Indeed, Social CRM is the next frontier for brands that wish to use the power of social interactions to be where their customers are and to actively engage with them. Stay ahead of the game with this powerful weapon that is Social CRM!