Enterprises please don't adopt social media in traditional CRM way

9th Mar 2011

While working closely on Social CRM, I sometime fear what will happen when this becomes 'Business as Usual' for the enterprises? Service using new-age mediums is being touted as the differentiator and the ultimate customer experience move. But, what if this medium will become norm, let's say in next 5-10 years? Does enterprise will also respond in a similar way of how the current service channels of e-mail, toll-free is now being used?

If yes, then I am feeling sorry for the enterprise. You have not understood the customer demands. To explain, I will point out few reasons of why I hate the existing channels, though its not the medium fault but its the structure or so called process flows that enterprises have built on it which stops me:

1. System generated mails - Honestly speaking e-mail could have been used in much more real-time but somehow, enterprises think customers are satisfied with an acknowledgement mail. At least, one could have given little bit more personal touch to the whole system. 

Learning No. 1 - please don't auto-respond on twitter, facebook when I am complaining. These mediums are being used by users for its instant communication. A response from machine would again negate the very USP of it. 

2. Unified Channel but why multi-agent? - why random agents pick up for the same request. Ok a first time call is understood, but please track an open request and route it to the same agent. Sometimes it gets very irritating.

Learning No. 2 - Incorporate a good assignment logic. This is routing feature and no channel can help in that. Hence, don't jump on social media with this assumption. 

3. Disparate products with single presence - If I am a premium credit card holder, still I have to send complaints to the service email/phone number at a universal level resulting into time wasted at internal role assignment and more explaination required to be given from my side. Rather, than this, a more preferred way is to have multiple presence with few agents working behind it. It will reduce the probability of wrong mapping and also the problem would be easily identifiable.

Learning No. 3 - Use social media for multiple presence. Don't approach it in a generic way. It doesn't cost much.

Hence, its a sincere request that adopt social media channels but at the same time keep it personal and more need oriented. Too many processes/structures will result into same situation for new-age channels as currently being faced by traditional channels.


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By Ian Heggs
14th Mar 2011 17:33

Some excellent observations that many organisations fail to observe.

First step is (1) understanding your customer

Second step is (2) integrating all customer engagement channels to enable better communication between customers, customer service and other company employees as well as with other customers . . . that is Social CRM

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