There are now 2.3 billion active users of social media. Nearly 2 billion adults worldwide use social media from a mobile device. Major social media networks, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, can represent a trove of rich insights into customer and lead behavior, preferences and needs.
The rapid adoption of social media has led to a growth in social customer relationship management (CRM) as a tool for organizations and sales professionals to better understand their customers’ preferences and needs. In this blog, you’ll learn several of the most remarkable benefits of social CRM.
What is Social CRM?
IBM defines social CRM very simply as the integration of social media and CRM strategies. In practice, this can involve one or more of the following aspects:
Engagement: Companies gain the ability to engage with customers and prospects on social media directly from the CRM.
Customer Service: Companies can respond to customers’ compliments, complaints and questions in real-time through CRM.
Social Selling: Sales professionals can qualify leads based on social media data and behaviors.
In addition to insight on an individual level, companies can use social CRM to understand trends in customer sentiment, customer service comments and other factors on a global level.
1. Process Improvement
One of the primary benefits of CRM adoption is additional transparency into your customers and sales processes. Social CRM can carry the unique benefit of process improvements across your lead and customer interactions. By allowing you to centralize your efforts across all forms of customer outreach — including phone, email, chat and social media — you can achieve consistency in voice and become more efficient.
2. Productivity Gains
Social media contains a wealth of insight into your leads’ and customers’ demographics, firmographics and behavior patterns. This can significantly speed the process of qualifying leads and closing sales. By pulling open data from social media to auto-populate your customers’ profiles, your CRM can act as your sales teams’ sidekick. This can also lend insight into the leads that are most prepared to make a purchase.
3. Internal Communication
CRM allows all of your teams, from IT to marketing and sales, to be on the same page when it comes to technology for customer communications. Every individual with access can gain the ability to view real-time updates to customer records from any device. This can reduce confusion and increase collaboration, even for teams that are scattered around the globe.
4. Be Proactive
Social media has turned everyone with an internet connection or a mobile device into a publisher. With social CRM, your customer service leadership can proactively monitor for customer sentiment and feedback, joining the conversation about your brand even if customers don’t directly tag you.
5. Improve Research and Development
As the social analytics capabilities in CRM become more sophisticated, research and development teams are gaining the ability to see into the future. By watching customer conversations, brands can develop innovative products and services in direct response to customers’ needs.
6. Competitive Intelligence
Do your competitors’ customers seem frustrated? With social CRM, organizations can monitor their competitors’ customer conversations to gauge factors like sentiment and share of voice, which can be used to directly improve your marketing strategy.
7. Build Deeper Relationships
Many socially-integrated CRM tools provide a “live stream” of insights into your customers’ activities on social media, including job changes and other major life events. Use these updates as an opportunity to personally congratulate your customers and strengthen your relationships.
At many organizations, social CRM isn’t just a benefit or a “nice-to-have” feature. It’s a necessity for successful business. By leveraging the rich insights of social media, organizations can gain an advantage in productivity, product development, and the ability to build lasting relationships with their clients.
Original source – http://it.toolbox.com