Social Media CRM

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January 4th, 2011

The fact that the dialogue between businesses and their customers has undergone a paradigm shift with the advent of social media is not news.  Companies that don’t listen to what their customers are saying about them, their products and services on Facebook and Twitter stand to lose not only these customers, but up to millions more. ‘Word of mouth’ has never been more imminent, relevant and exponential.

Accordingly, one the biggest trends we’re finding among customer-centric organizations is the need to somehow get a handle on the masses of customer inputs that get proliferated through social channels every day. Additionally, organizations are also seeking to better understand the significance of individual customers’ social media interactions in the context of what they’re saying on other communication channels, such as the web and the contact center.

These two needs come under one umbrella: leveraging social media insights to enhance customer experience. This has become a top priority for many organizations and their marketing leadership. This is the foundation of social CRM initiatives.

So, what does this mean for technology deployments? It means that achieving these goals necessitates technology solutions that enable the front lines, i.e. the customer contact center, with real-time, cross-channel interaction analytics capabilities. These capabilities provide a holistic view of customer behaviors, delivering insights on customer wants and needs. They also provide timely and relevant insights to the organization about services and products.

Drilling down a bit, a real-time, cross-channel interaction analytics solution enables organizations to automatically capture social media interactions/inputs along with those that occur on other channels; perform advanced analytics on all of these interaction types, categorizing them based on topic (e.g. billing, product type, service issue, etc.) and getting a root-cause analysis of customer related issues. This provides organizations with previously unattainable, strategic insights on customer wants/needs and behaviors.

This ‘front line’ solution should also include real-time process optimization capabilities. This delivers real-time, personalized (to the service rep’s skills and the customer’s needs) next-best-action recommendations to service reps, via on-screen pop-ups. The result is a dramatic, real-time impact on every customer interaction—on the phone, on the web, through social media.

The trends for real-time, cross-channel analytics is on the uptake. This is because this kind of solution enables organizations to be proactive in leveraging insights from their customers’ social media (and other) interactions—for better products, better customer service, more loyal customers, and a more profitable business.

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