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CRM & Social Web: Evolving Customer Management to Customer Engagement

This is the first of a series of posts to discuss the impact of Social Web (aka web2.0/social media) on CRM applications.

CRM 2.0We in CRM product management team want to reach out to the community and share some of our thoughts/strategy on how we see the social web impacting CRM.

Earlier this year,  we published a white paper on how Web 2.0 is transforming CRM. This post will elaborate further and layout our strategy for imbibing the social web concepts in CRM applications.

In the coming weeks/months, the CRM product management team will share some thoughts, prototypes on how these concepts can be leveraged to enrich the CRM processes. 

Our intention is to start a discussion and understand the specific areas within CRM where you are seeing the impact.

Let me conceptually lay out (via the diagram below) how we see Web 2.0 can enhance CRM and take it to the next level –  CRM 2.0




The majority of the organizations have mastered the traditional CRM usage, wherein they have a good view and understanding of their customers from a transactional standpoint and the ability to track interactions with their customers and results for the same. However, all of this information is about your interaction with the customer and not their interactions with other parties that might be of concern for you. They could be interacting with your other customers, partners, employees, etc.  The social web gives your customers a great opportunity to collaborate with your network without your knowledge.

One of the biggest challenges facing many organizations is that the Internet and more specifically, Web 2.0 tools are helping making customers more informed than your employees. Companies such as Apple have their employees participate in online customer service communities such as GetSatisfaction to better understand how their products are being rated and discussed by customers. These “social web” sites can help customer service organizations gather better insight that would not be available from traditional approaches. Similarly, companies are experimenting various approaches to leverage “Word of mouth” marketing on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, etc.

There is a need to find innovative ways to engage with the emerging “social customers” and enrich the customer experience through social web interactions.  A solution that can analyze and react to the social web and foster strong customer collaboration.

The combination of traditional CRM with Social Web will lead to business process enrichment and lay the foundation for next generation of “Social” applications.

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