Use social CRM to build a social army behind your business.
“Big data” has been one of the top phrases of 2013. It’s everywhere you read, and everyone is talking about how to mine the data, how to value it, and what to do with it.
Maybe you should care more, but you really don’t. Your small business is focused on trying to work with the small data you have from your CRM system, and to make it work for you. Can social CRM bring value to your business? Can it extend beyond simply managing relationships with your customers and help grow profits?
The short answer is: yes. While social CRM can be as complex as you want it to be, we’ve simplified the research into the following five ways that customer (and employee!) feedback can impact your bottom line.
1. Get inside your customers’ heads
You’ve done the “brand persona” thing, and you’re pretty sure you understand your target audiences. With the right social CRM tool, now you can learn their communication channels of choice and social behavior and use that information to make offers or resolve issues in ways that fit each persona. You can also assess your customers’ technical savvy by tracking the kinds of questions they ask from customer service or technical support (these can even generate ideas for new product features). Lastly, you can combine the data and insights gathered from social channels, campaigns, web analytics and traditional CRM to identify your customers’ fears, wants and values — and look for patterns that can help you continually refine your buyer personas.
It sounds like a lot, but start small and the impact with slowly add up!
2. Maximize Profits
Do you know who your best customers are? Actually, the better question is: what makes a customer “one of the best” for your company? Is it loyalty? Quantity? That they’re low-maintenance? Most of you are thinking: “The most profitable ones, of course!”
Inc. Magazine tells us that: “By analyzing buying behaviors and other customer data, your business can gain a better understanding of who are your best customers.”
Social CRM can help you collect data on which customers bring you the most revenue and which provide the highest profit margins. You could use this information to:
- Provide a higher tier of service for the “best” customers
- Maximize sales opportunities with high-value customers
- Lower the cost of selling to specific customer groups, and increase profits as a result
3. Speak With One Voice:
How many different channels could one customer use to interact with your company, and how many different employees could they reach? Calls or emails to customer service, technical support, and sales; FaceBook; Twitter; Instagram; Pinterest; your website; the possibilities are so numerous it’s hard to keep track. Much less manage it all.
With social CRM, you can create one central data bank for every single customer. Any employee who has contact with that individual has all of the information at hand about every time the customer has interacted with your company, and what the content of the interactions were. Whether they’re communicating on the phone, by email, or via social media, a collaborative CRM system enables all of your employees to speak with a single voice.
The result: personalized interactions, confident employees, greater efficiencies, faster problem solving, and happy customers.
4. Feedback: Get it Into the Right Hands Quickly, and Enable Those People to Take Action
It’s all about the data… oh, and what you do with it. In a perfect world, your social CRM system will:
- capture feedback from customers, partners and employees;
- organize it by type (complaint, question, compliment);
- note the action needed;
- route it to the right person;
- and make sure those people are empowered to respond appropriately to all feedback they receive.
5. Get Your Customers to Work for You, and Each Other
The Altimeter Group called this concept “Peer-2-Peer Unpaid Armies”. That evokes quite the visual, huh? The idea is to create a platform that encourages your fans to talk to each other, support each other, and build an active community. You have a lot of really smart, capable customers. Wouldn’t it be great if they started helping each other resolve questions and problems?
The same report also introduces the idea of “Crowdsourced R&D”. Who knows better how your products/services work, and what’s great about them, and how they could be even better? That’s right: your super smart customers. Listen to their ideas. What would they like to see from you next? How can you solve their pain points in new and better ways? Then make it happen.
Has your social CRM helped you improve your bottom line? Are you chomping at the bit to start implementing any of these ideas? Join the conversation on Twitter @fanhub #SocialCRM!