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The Next Stage: Social Customer Relationship Management

By Adam Galland

Just as the World Wide Web was a game-changer in how companies do business, so too is the explosion in popularity of social networking. Blogs, user forums, and sites such as Facebook and YouTube all create powerful platforms with which consumers from all over the world can communicate with businesses and each other. Shared knowledge can make or break the reputation of a specific product, business, or service. Fortunately, the more a company knows about its customers’ desires, the more a business can position itself to meet their needs. Enter social customer relationship management (CRM).

According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study, about 60 percent of Americans communicate with companies via social networking, and 85 percent of social media users believe businesses should interact using the medium. Social CRM becomes a collaborative process, in which the customer plays as crucial of a role in the ongoing relationship as the business does. Interacting via social media allows the customers to communicate their preferences to businesses, providing a unique opportunity for companies to discover ways to meet customer needs. With businesses engaging customers in positive experiences, the customers are more likely to share beneficial information with others about such companies. The collaborative approach becomes an ongoing dialogue between the consumer and the company, allowing customers to supply feedback so they can shape their experiences. When businesses effectively meet those needs, the customer becomes an advocate for the business via social media outlets. Ultimately, effective use of social CRM becomes a win-win solution that allows customers to have their wants satisfied while companies grow business through client advocacy.

About the author: Frustration with his customer relationship management service led Adam Galland to develop the Innovative Matrix CRM system with his brother. The two embarked upon years of analysis, research, development, and testing in order to create one of industry’s fastest-growing CRM firms.

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