CRM Is Now Social: Listen First

Do you care about your customers?

Yes, every company pays lip service to customer relationship management. Sadly, your customers, who spend ten minutes negotiating your voice mail system, then 30 minutes being bounced around from rep to rep after that, have no reason to believe you.

If nothing else, social media gives your customers a way to vent. Are you listening?

Listening is more important than pitching on social media, as this article,

How Social Media Is Changing CRM – Businessweek, points out:

“If you’ve been pondering how best to use CRM in your business, you may want to begin with where it’s headed (two-way communication) rather than where it has been (one-way messaging). Start by listening rather than talking and responding rather than pitching.”

Getting started with social media

There are several useful Social CRM applications, but if you’re just starting out, you don’t need them.

Create some simple researches for your company and product names, and see what people are saying. Of course, you need to respond, too.

Check your social media searches at least once a day.

After a couple of weeks of this, you’ll be ready to create your own social media strategy for CRM.

Managing customers with social media

social media

In these days of off-shoring help desks, some companies make it impossible for their customers to get in touch with a real human being. Social media tools like Twitter are a real boon for these companies.

For example, in the past few weeks I’ve had intermittent Internet connection problems. My cable modem seems fine, but some days my connection is slow for hours at a time, or vanishes completely. I’d be a lot more frustrated than I am if someone at my ISP didn’t respond to me via Twitter.

Customers want to be heard, and the social media tools ensure you can hear them.

Do you have someone monitoring the conversations on social media? You should.

As Real-Time Conversations Hasten Social CRM reports:

“… A brand can get damaged faster than ever nowadays.

The true shift represented by the social and real-time Web is not simply the ability to surface relevant conversations as they happen, it represents the opportunity to learn from public sentiment and create a more aware and adaptive organization that leads communities through action.”

Read the whole article: it shows you opportunities you may be missing.

UPDATE. Nothing much has changed since 2009. Use social media to help your customers. You’ll get their gratitude, and their loyalty.
photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc