Social CRM – and the need for bold decisions

There was a great article posted on CRM Search which was write-up of an interview with Paul Greenberg, one of the international thought-leaders in the CRM and Social CRM sphere.

Here is the link to the article, or to Paul’s collection of articles on CRM Search

The comment I posted (copy below) highlights some additional thoughts about the challenges that businesses face in the Social CRM area, which is a complex topic where people, processes and technology converge.

Social CRM challenges

“Chuck, Excellent summary of the social business and social CRM thought leadership of Paul Greenberg. Some additional thoughts, if I may, to contribute to the discussion:

  1. Adding Social into the structure and channels of CRM makes sense. It rather assumes the CRM implementation and cultural adoption is robust in the first place, which is about people and processes, not just technology.
  2. The Social element I see as similar to the call-centre interactions, with parallels to the customer expectations of how soon the call will be answered, and the frustrations of extended ‘call on hold’ or even the eventual line going dead.
  3. However, where larger service providers had the upper hand with call-centre technology, and incoming calls were from ‘real people’, the potential for Social ‘noise’ to be generated by content creation programs could easily overwhelm and hide genuine social media messages from real customers.
  4. Rather like the security sector, I anticipate a rapid ratchet effect, where Social Media Monitoring, sorting genuine messages from noise accurately (avoiding false positives or negatives) and then attaching the message to the ‘customer record’, will be needed, with measures and tools to overcome some of the social spam that is evident in Twitter and Blog comment spam, for example.
  5. Given the lead-times of complex projects like Social CRM, the delay involved with finding out what the customer wants risks leaving companies a long way behind the curve.
  6. There needs to be some bold decisions, along the lines that Steve Jobs took, to anticipate accurately where the market is going, guided by Paul Greenburg and others. Bold decisions such as that take by Tony Cleaver at IBM with his decision to implement NOSS, the National Office Support System in the late1980s.

I fear that evolution may not be quick enough, and that there will need to be some revolutionary, game-changing investments made, in order for companies to remain competitive in the global market.

Interesting, exciting times.

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