Why your company needs a Social CRM strategy pronto!
Most often, it is presumed that a CRM software is just about tracking a customer’s movements. What purchases they made, studying their buying behavior and pushing them towards buying more of a company’s products.
But that is not why CRM was invented. As the name suggests, it is all about establishing a relationship with your customer. Understanding the person behind the statistic. And doing what you can to keep your customer wholly invested in your brand.
As the best CRM software today automates the entire relationship building process between a brand and its audience, companies today have found a desirable way to implement an effective CRM strategy within the realm of social media.
According to a study by Gartner, business-to-business investment will account for 40% of spending on social software by the beginning of 2016. So now that we know social CRM has arrived in a big way, let us analyze some of the best ways for your company to establish a social CRM tool.
- The first step would be to identify which social media channels your customers are most active in and operate within those specified channels. Although reports have shown that Facebook has the largest number of users compared to any other social platform, your brand’s audience may be more actively involved in say, Twitter or LinkedIn. It is also best to adopt a multi-channel approach and not bank on a single social media forum to build your clientele. While adopting this multi-pronged approach, measures have to be taken to ensure that unified messages are being disseminated across different platforms.
- Yet another important task is prioritizing how you respond to feedback. As customers today are realizing the value of turning to social media to voice their concerns, a brand may not have the resources to address every issue immediately. You need to choose if you would rather give your attention to the most influential customer (the one with the most followers), the one whose message had an element of urgency, or the one with the most negative feedback.
- Addressing the customer with the most number of friends/followers is going to result in increased exposure for your brand. While this may definitely be an important factor to consider while deciding which person to focus your attention on, in the larger scheme of things, it is not always about the exposure your message receives. At the end of the day, it is not about the number of followers you have on social media, but measurement in terms of engagement and conversions.
- Dealing with negativity: Customers today have a voice. And they all want to be heard. There are instances where their comments can be downright harsh. Add this to the power of viral media and you will end up blowing out of proportion. Case in point – the ‘Dell Hell’ fiasco. Maintaining silence will only lead audiences to believe that the brand is guilty. Instead, the issue should be rectified on the same public forum, in a mature and sensitive way. Surveys have shown that addressing a negative review and taking a proactive decision to solve the problem actually results in customers deleting the negative review, and posting a positive one in its place. 33% negative reviewers posted a positive review about the remedial action taken, and 34% ended up deleting the original negative review.
- Monitoring & Metrics: Social CRM tools help you import your Facebook and Instagram fans, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections and more, into a database. It then allows you to form lists or groups of audiences and filter through contacts. The tool also lets you track the movement of a potential customer through a sales funnel, as she/he makes the transition from potential customer to advocate. These tools also help you scour the social media for conversations centered on your brand. You could also set certain chosen keywords and establish new contacts with those individuals who used those keywords on the social web.
As always, the proof is in the pie chart. Analyze your metrics and real-time data to put your finger on the pulse of your social CRM strategy. Data will help you easily translate your social CRM strategies in terms of productivity and efficiency and will ensure that you are ahead of your customers’ increasing expectations.
Social CRM tools work because not only do they help you connect with a million people at once, but they do it in the medium your customers choose to communicate in. Which brings us back to the beginning of the blog. While CRM software help in automating the very process of customer relationship management, social CRM chooses to do exactly the opposite. This is the right platform for your brand to speak from the heart. To showcase its wit, style and personality. And to give out candid, instead of canned responses.
How well can you fine-tune your social customer service strategy to increase your customer engagement? Share your comments below.
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