(aka: how to make sure your customers don’t hate you!)
Howdy folks! Today we’ll be diving into the wild world of social CRM (customer relationship management). To do this, we’ll be looking at tips provided by Megan Adams on her LinkedIn Learning course Social Media Marketing: Social CRM. Let’s jump on into it!
A Introduction to Social CRM
Firstly, what is “social CRM”?
Social Customer Relationship Management: “A strategy that enables organizations to better engage with their customers (online)” (Adams, 2018). Essentially, it’s managing customer relationships using/on online “tools” like social media.
But what’s it good for?
- Customer service. Customers can reach out on social media 24/7
- Engagement. Increases & encourages engagement (and brand loyalty) through social media
- Supports marketing and sales tasks. Easily track effectiveness of advertising, promotions, etc.
- Evidence & Data! Provides clear evidence of the online activity/engagement your customers have with you. This is great to understand your target audience.
- Natural advertising. Create word-of-mouth advertising by providing a good customer relationship. This is integral!
Overall, what’s social CRM good for? It’s good for helping your company track, measure, and analyze your audience’s social media behavior! As I was once taught, there’s a marketing adage; “a dissatisfied will tell ten friends (you suck), but a satisfied customer will only tell two (you rock)”. Remember, this is important! Good experiences usually don’t get mentioned as much as the bad. So make sure there’s only the good for customers to talk about!
How to use Social CRM:
- Marketing. Use social listening to track your audience and see what they like. This is important for things like advertising and promotions
- Sales. Obviously, you want to make sales! Use CRM to understand what people are buying/want to buy
- Customer Service: Remember what we just said! Customer service is important and using CRM can help you provide it quick!
- Customer experience. Good products are fine, but good customer experience will bring them back for more. Use CRM to understand what your customers want so you can tailor a great experience to them!
Social Listening: Monitoring online conversations (of your audience) to see what people say/think about you
Remember: There’s no use in just “listening” to your audience! Actually listen and act on it!
Pro Tips for Deciding a CRM Platform:
- Consider your business’ size. It’s not effective to have a “mom and pop shop”-sized CRM if you run a national enterprise. Plus, it’s not cost effective to have an enterprise-level CRM system if you have a small business!
- Ease of use. Don’t buy things you don’t know how to use because it’s “better”
- Features. What does the platform offer vs what you need/want it to do for you?
- Integration. Again, if it’s not easy to implement it could result in even bigger problems!
- Security. It’s not worth it to your business or customers to cheap out and get weak security.
- Customer service. If you need help, is the CRM company ready and willing to help you?
- Cost! The most obvious factor. Don’t forget “hidden” fees like setup costs and time needed to implement
- Try it out first. Sign up for a free trial/demo to see if it’s the right fit for your business! You wouldn’t buy a car before doing a test drive so why do it for a CRM system?
When integrating a CRM, the top two things you need: support and resources (Adams, 2018). Support could be obvious things like upper-management funding the system or smaller things like team members using it. You’re essentially changing corporate culture (to an extent) so make sure the system aligns with the company! If not, employees may fight back because they don’t see the advantages. Resources are factors like budget, monitoring, and staff. They’re important to consider because if you work outside your resources, the proper care won’t be taken overall.
It’s like a sandwich! If you don’t have the proper ingredients to build a sandwich, then you’ll end up just eating salami and mayo (gross). It’s not effective and a waste of the few resources you did have.
Corporate Culture: the unspoken beliefs/behaviors ingrained into employees about how they should act/interact (in the company).
Corporate culture’s learned/developed over time without ever saying “this is how things are”. This makes it difficult to change because it’s the norm. If you’re interested in a whole blog dedicated to changing corporate culture, leave a comment down below or message me on LinkedIn!
Overall, social CRM’s are integral to customer relationship management; so much so it’s in the name! Firstly, it’s important to understand that just having good products isn’t enough anymore. Especially in this internet era where negative word-of-mouth can travel like a forest fire, understanding what the public says about you is key.
Personally, the most important part of social CRM to me is listening. There’s a difference between hearing what customers are saying to/about you and listening. Listening means engaging, it means taking action, it means learning from the information giving. For me, I feel like this is the make-or-break difference between brands that do well and those that don’t. If your customers are consistently trying to tell you something, acknowledge it at the very least! For real, even if you have no plans to change, just saying “we hear you” makes customers feel heard; which will go a long way.
One real world example you should check out is Jacklyn Hill’s Lipstick launch. Upon release, one customer was complaining about hard (plastic and metal) balls and hair embedded in their lipsticks. Instead of listening, Jacklyn went on the defensive and attacked the customer that complained. This came to bite Jacklyn in the butt because many customers had the same problems and were furious at the response. Additionally, Jacklyn’s doubting response spread quickly through the makeup community and even those who weren’t interested in the lipsticks now didn’t want to support the brand in any way. Jacklyn lost thousands of customers because she didn’t listen!
Adams, M. (2018, April 11). Social Media Marketing: Social CRM. Retrieved from LinkedIn Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/social-media-marketing-social-crm