What Social CRM Can Learn From CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a business software system used to manage and interact with clients and sales prospects. CRM involves using technology to automate business processes to increase efficiency and optimize customer service. Basically, CRM is like the host at a restaurant that greets clients warmly, directs traffic flow and runs the show without breaking a sweat or showing the hint of a frown. Social CRM is the business strategy of engaging customers through social media in hopes of building trust and brand loyalty. There are a few subtle differences between Social and Conventional CRM, but where CRM fails, Social CRM can blossom.

Social CRM is a Strategy

The main difference between CRM and Social CRM is that CRM has evolved into an application moreover than a strategy. CRM as an application has limitations, whereas Social CRM as a business strategy does not. So one lesson Social CRM can learn from its predecessor is the difference between ‘strategy’ and ‘technology’. Strategy is the plan of action designed to yield a specific goal; Social CRM’s strategy is to build trust and loyalty. Although Social CRM will use technology tools to implement their plans, it is important to remember the difference between ‘strategy’ and ‘technology’. By clearly identifying Social CRM goals before selecting the tools, companies can avoid allowing the limitations of tools to become the limitations of their strategy.

Optimize Business Processes

One reason CRM implementation has failed in recent years is because CRM related processes have not been optimized for the CRM technology. CRM solutions are meant to simplify business processes to facilitate high quality customer service. Social CRM can learn from CRM implementation failure, by focusing on selecting a CRM solution that will optimize business processes.

Data Quality

CRM applications must ensure data quality. Some CRM applications have failed because the accumulated transactional and non-transactional data were not high quality. Social media and networks yield a large volume of information. It is important to have some data control and framework in place before implementing a Social CRM solution for your business. Figuring out what information is useful and what isn’t will allow companies to enhance their Social CRM strategy and implement useful tools only.


Another lesson Social CRM can learn from CRM is to leverage analytics. Analytics give companies the ability to have a 360-view on their customers. Social CRM can take analytics one step further than CRM by applying predictive analytics. Before implementing a Social CRM solution, companies should figure out how they plan on using the information they gather and how they can use the information to analyze the past and make predictions about the future customer behavior.

Project Ownership and Leadership

It is important for companies to have a clearly identified “owner” and “leader” responsible for the success of CRM initiatives. Before implementing a Social CRM solution, there must be a leader because Social CRM affects several departments including Marketing, PR, IT and Legal. To optimize Social CRM implementation, the roles and responsibilities for each involved department must be clearly highlighted.

There are several benefits to implementing a Social CRM strategy for your business. Hopefully this article will shed some light on how Social CRM can learn from CRM applications. For help selecting a Social CRM solution that is right for you, visit: http://www.business-software.com/crm-reports/social-crm.php for a free Top 10 Social CRM Vendor List.

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