Engaging with customers is one of the most important aspects to maintain a good brand name. It is also one of the major issues that most companies find challenging. However, the customer relationship aspect of business is constantly evolving and the shift from “Traditional CRM” to “Social CRM” has taken “customer relationship management” as a concept and practice to a whole new level.
Here’s a glimpse at how the process has evolved and changed a lot for the good and a little for the bad as well.
1. Communication has now become a two way process. Reaching a company is much easier, thanks to the various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. A process which was traditionally focused on the company directing sales/marketing related content to their customers/prospects from a prerecorded set of data has now changed to a dynamic process where customers reach the company as and when they want.
This transformation is huge and a significant one as, the communication process which was predominantly brand driven has now shifted to being customer driven. More power to the public!
2. The focus has shifted from being sales driven to building relationships. Brands today have come to realize that it is the pool of returning customers which needs to be targeted and retained. A good “word of mouth” is company’s concern today. Retaining customers and keeping them happy is what social CRM has largely enabled.
Using platforms like Facebook and Twitter, companies can reach out to their customers which highly engaging content and also address their issues in public. This helps build transparency of the brand and also makes the brand more humane. If you have already connected the dots, social media has helped build a relationship between the brands and their customers, which eventually results in more loyal and returning customers, brand advocates and some free marketing!
3. Traditional CRM was a process, whereas Social CRM is a strategy. Traditional CRM practices involved a canned mechanism to make phone calls, send email messages or attend live meetings with existing customers and prospects. This has evolved to a more relaxed process with customers engaging in more personalized conversations with brands through social media.
This not just helps in building a better relationship with the customers but also enriches the brands customer data, which helps in targeting the marketing initiatives better.
4. The difference between Traditional CRM and Social CRM can be distinctly differentiated based on the software used. Traditional CRM tools were only focused at recording and processing information for direct communication, namely contact number, e mail address, mailing address and the like. It also had a limited capacity to record historical data; only data related to communication between the brand and the customer.
This has shifted drastically with the invention of software that could track their customer’s social behavior. This allowed the brands to understand their customer needs and interests better and serve them accordingly. It also allowed giving a more personalized direction to every communication with customers based on their interests.
From an unorganized dump of information about customers, i.e. traditional CRM, social CRM has moved to gathering and managing customer information into more strategically divided groups.This has not just helped in engaging with customers better but also increased each brands potential to spread a good word of mouth.