This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Joining the Conversation: Charting Your Social CRM Strategy
By Christina Pruitt
Until very recently, organizations were doing well if they created rich and engaging customer experiences, based on what customers revealed about their needs and preferences. Now, with the explosion in social media, networking and microblogging on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, product review portals and discussion forums, organizations have to go further. They must listen to what customers are saying (in reality, as well as online), engage where appropriate and seek to influence the conversation where necessary. This means social media must Wise companies learn very be added to the ever-evolving early on they must avoid CRM mix, creating an the appearance of trying to integrated Social CRM (SCRM) strategy. By some estimates, people are three times more likely to trust a peer over company-provided content from Web sites, brochures or advertisements. Most people share product and service recommendations at least every few months –– and many do so much more often. Not surprisingly, this has an enormous impact on sales. Consumers have taken charge of their own destinies and are making their voices heard. The challenge is to turn social media into a positive force for your company. The benefits are certainly there for the taking. For example, businesses are connecting with customer communities -- or building their own -to gain better insights into customer behaviors and monitor their reactions to business events. Organizations are using customer communities to support market research and product development; accelerate the distribution of marketing messages; and develop deeper insights about individuals and accounts for use by the sales force. Companies are also promoting online customer self-service to drive down support costs, while also potentially increasing customer satisfaction. Many companies lack a coherent social media strategy because they fear consumer- and customer-driven content is an ungovernable force. And to a large degree, that is true. So-
directly control perception. But if you bring value to the conversation, consumers will welcome your participation.
The power of social media cannot be overstated. Peer-topeer social media conversations are influencing decisions made by consumers of all ages -- and that reality is here to stay. Due to their immediacy and volume, social media exchanges are amplified and impact the entire business ecosystem. It is axiomatic that social media are vastly reducing the influence of traditional media. But they are also transforming business in general, particularly the way people and businesses buy things.
you need to engage them in their preferred online settings and formats. you your brand. Harnessing Social Media There are five primary components to social networking and the use of social media: 1. but you can retain the ideas to use in other ways. your company and products You can encourage interactivity by allowing visitors and par. use their feedback to enhance both your most valuable customer relationships (with your CRM system) and your product offerings (within your product lifecycle manageTo get started with SCRM. Generally. Monitor Listen: Social media and networking sites are an endless source of information about consumers’ views on your company and products -. Listen 2. the effort you spend on SCRM is well-rewarded. only your most ardent champions and strident detractors will be the ones posting about your company. either manually or using an automated tool. begin reading to understand the gist of public opinion. the bad and the ugly. of course. easily and cost-effectively discover what your brand’s most passionate advocates are thinking -. Your company can’t and won’t implement all the ideas. At a high level. Then. ticipants to vote on their favorite entries. to arrive at new product ideas that are more tailored to your customers’ actual needs than traditional R&D methods would yield. such as Lithium and our own Sentiment Analyzer. You can use “crowdsource ideation. Here. the bad CRM Insights 2 . Social media and you invite your community of networking sites are an interest to submit specific product ideas. For most companies.and what they want from you. for example. Social media never sleep. with the goal of understanding why consumers feel the way they do (good or bad). Using this method. the job of monitoring online consumers’ opinions does not end. Your first task is to make sense of what is being said (and by whom). looking for specific user-identified tags and returning consumer opinion data so you can evaluate if. ment system). Additional uses: If you do it properly. you should think about the full range of content sources and insights: -. React: Once you have a sense of your customers’ overall sentiments. you can quickly. Social media can also be a powerful source of inspiration. and you must not grow lax in the amount of attention you pay. Enterprise-class software like Lithium can also make inferences you would not otherwise have spotted. evaluating. brand or campaign names. In fact. this involves searching for your company. Evaluate 3. But if you bring value to the conversation. as opposed to just keeping track. what they are saying about analyzing and reacting. These tools search the gamut of social media and sites.the good. Using a tool is an efficient way to keep up with developments that need your attention.and the ugly. Wise companies learn very early on they must avoid the appearance of trying to directly control perception. Analyze 4.called “Web 2.0” technologies give individuals unprecedented power to be their own publishers and critics.the good. Evaluate and Analyze: You need to sift and sort the various viewpoints (from most major social networking sites and possibly global/regional sites) and analyze them against existing data from your CRM system across all customer touchpoints and channels. consumers will welcome your participation. When considering how much marketing power is inherently contained within social networking sites. actually has the opposite of the desired effect. also need to continuously monitor the conversation. if so. that your customer loyalty program you need to determine Monitor: The interaction where your customers continues even after you have followed through communicate online and with listening. usually in endless source of information exchange for the chance to about consumers’ views on win a prize. You will need to determine if there are any existing communities that discuss your brand and. React 5. As with the need to maintain customer relationships.” for example. just because you are beloved on one site does not mean you’re not hated on another. how and when you should respond. monitoring is a cornerstone of SCRM.
If your customers are experiencing adverse service issues. they are likely discussing them with others online. Drug companies may also participate in -. Pharmaceutical companies have created drug. For instance.or disease-oriented communities in which patients share information with other patients and celebrate successes.and help you prepare new product launches. giving layperson followers a sense of unprecedented access. blogs and the like to educate young consumers on basic money management. For example.or even sponsor -. In the financial services sector. banks that are more active in engaging with their customers over social media channels are demonstrably more helpful in addressing customers’ problems in more traditional channels. In healthcare.I Community interaction and collaboration > Ideas/forums/blogs > Social sites > Sentiment analysis > Perception management > Sales leads > Service opportunities > Customer satisfaction-related opportunities > Collaboration > Prospect and opportunity analysis > Brand analysis > Web analysis I about your brand -. Branding > Competitive intelligence/market needs > Prepare launches/market introductions > Viral marketing/runaway word of mouth/evangelism Getting Started To get started with SCRM. This group can give you better insights and immediate feedback 3 CRM Insights . despite the need to address security issues. Pharmaceutical companies are broadcasting real-time news related to drug trials and FDA approvals via sites like Twitter.” a space for likeminded individuals to interact. You may be missing an opportunity to cultivate a positive image by being proactive and superresponsive to customer needs.non-brandcentric patient communities. you need to determine where your customers communicate online and what they are saying about There are distinct your brand. iTunes. SCRM in Action Companies across all industries are putting social media to work to forge stronger bonds with customers. they encourage them to maximize the interest earned on the funds in their bank accounts via innovative social media marketing campaigns. for example. There are distinct advantages to building a “brand community. Facebook. disseminate job opportunities and identify new fundraising opportunities. they continue an exchange using direct messages and more secure channels to prevent disclosure of sensitive material. your brand’s most passionate advocates are out there sharing the love. helping you quickly understand the online buzz about your product and brand. At the other end of the spectrum. using that experience as a rich source of patient information. Progressive banks are using YouTube.and your competitors’ -. many large consumerbanking institutions have grown comfortable interacting with consumers over sites like Twitter. Providing service directly through this site can also significantly reduce your customer support costs. Automated tools advantages to building (ranging from freeware like Google Alerts and Trendrr. Twitter. You should open a dialog.” enterprise solutions like a space for like-minded Lithium) can be useful in individuals to interact. hospitals and other organizations are using social media programs through a variety of channels to drive interest in service lines. increase brand awareness. express your appreciation and then look to create opportunities to help them sell your product or service -something many brand-faithful will be more than happy to do. to a “brand community. Banks that are using social media to brand themselves or to market a specific product or service have found success by adding social tools into existing campaigns. In line with customer demands. You need to know that so you can address the problem and prevent more negative publicity.
All rights reserved. Cognizant is a Forbes Global 2000 company and a member of the Fortune 1000 and is ranked among the top information technology companies in BusinessWeek's Hot Growth and Top 50 Performers listings.com. For another.com © Copyright 2009. stored in a retrieval system.Pruitt@cognizant.com India Operations Headquarters #5/535. Cognizant.and cannot -. 2009.directly steer public opinion. A member of the NASDAQ-100 Index and S&P 500 Index. the need to monitor the conversation never ends. Cognizant's single-minded passion is to dedicate our global technology and innovation know-how. the firestorm. or otherwise. companies do not -. No part of this document may be reproduced. 600 096 India Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: inquiryindia@cognizant. With over 50 global delivery centers and more than 68. World Headquarters 500 Frank W. Teaneck. Social CRM is a complement to an effective CRM and customer experience management strategy. hearts and wallets.cognizant. and it can be difficult to resist the temptation to jump in and start controlling the situation. Burr Blvd. and business process outsourcing services. recording. transmitted in any form or by any means. mechanical. People will say unfair things sometimes. It can also be used to generate awareness for your brand and to establish a two-way feedback mechanism as a tool for strengthening your customer relationships. our industry expertise and worldwide resources to working together with clients to make their businesses stronger.Challenges remain. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. photocopying. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. we combine a unique onsite/offshore delivery model infused by a distinct culture of customer satisfaction. Social relationships are enhanced because of the personal information one can capture online –– yielding deeper insight into consumers’ minds. . Our ability to build these qualitatively different relationships is limited only by human capacity and technology capability.com European Headquarters Haymarket House 28-29 Haymarket London SW1Y 4SP UK Phone: +44 (0) 20 7321 4888 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7321 4890 Email: infouk@cognizant. She has 25 years of experience in the CRM space. consulting. For one thing. electronic. SCRM goes beyond traditional CRM to build meaningful social relationships. NJ 07666 USA Phone: +1 201 801 0233 Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Email: inquiry@cognizant. Abandon any notion of control before you begin planning your SCRM strategy in earnest. Thoraipakkam Chennai. without the express written permission from Cognizant.com. Used thoughtfully. though. contact us at inquiry@cognizant. Christina can be reached at Christina. you are setting your company up to worsen. Old Mahabalipuram Road Okkiyam Pettai. If you do that. Start Today For more information on how to drive your business results with Cognizant.com or visit our website at www. rather than manage.000 employees as of September 30. even after getting a handle on what your customers are saying about you. About Cognizant Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology. About the Author Christina Pruitt is Cognizant's Director of CRM Strategic Consulting.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.