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Social Media? Social Business! integration is a great opportunity to strengthen customer relations

 

  • There was a time when companies were very much skeptical about whether or not to do CRM…
  • Later,  actually for some companies only a few years ago, there then was a time  when companies were very much skeptical about whether or not to Web  Channel. In other words should we sell or reach out to customers via the  Internet…
  • Today, we observer a very similar phenomenon around Social Media…

we would like to talk about Social Business.

 

There  are at least as many skeptics as there are strong believers in Social  Media. As a result, it’s fair to say that usage of and openness to  Social Media also respresents a very emotional and cultural field of  study. Its not our intention to judge different opinions with this  discussion but I want to show you how powerful the topic has become in  CRM-related discussions. Here are my top 5 examples for why we should  not close our eyes to Social Media, but actively engage in related  discussions with our customers. So it becomes core part of what we would like to call Social Business, a normal part of your overall startegy:

 

1. The  numbers – globally, there are 800M Facebook users already (as of Nov  2011). This is just one channel, but it shows you that the damage to  your brand as well as your opportunities reaching out to existing and/or  new customers are significant. Also, there are close to 57M  LinkedIn users in the US alone. This not only represents a significant  talent pool for your company but also offers very accurate  segmentation/targeting

2. How do  make sure that you are capable of listening to what your customers are  saying about you, your brand or your services? Social Media Monitoring  is therefore becoming a central means

3. And  then? What do you do with positive or negative feedback? There are  fascinating case studies, ranging from companies deleting comments to  companies implementing lengthy processes of dealing with answers. Many  companies don’t react at all, which sure represents a missed opportunity  to interact with your customers and deliver a good customer experience.  And of course, you also need to commit resources in the first place –  otherwhise you not gonna be able to deal with your customers via Social  Media (it just does not scale then)

4. Is  it a threat or an opportunity? That’s been a fundamental question in  regards to Social Media. In fact, Social Media engagement can lead to  severe damages if done poorly but that’s the same with most customer  interactions if you ask me. The opportunities are huge though (see next  point)

5. Is there a way to know if JoeSmith81 (who just tweeted) is in my CRM already?  In fact, it’s not easy to link your traditional and new “social” data  sources, but the potential return has tremendous value as there are  better chances than ever to really “know your customer”. This is the  next battlefield of CRM and there will be few vendors that can offer  good solutions. We want to be one.

 

This  is why SAP is investing resources in new Social Business (Media)-related  offerings, with SAP Service OnDemand currently being in development.  There is no doubt that the topic is very hot – especially in B2C.

 

Service  OnDemand is a team-based social media engagement tool that  enables  your company to monitor customer conversations on Facebook and  Twitter,  automatically identify and prioritize top influencers and key  issues,  and collaborate internally to craft the best response.  Using  pre-built  integration, these responses can be pushed back into the  original  social channel, and tracked as part of an overall CRM  strategy.   Service OD has built in routing to accelerate responses by  including  the right experts in the conversation, and native compliance  protection  to ensure that all responses are aligned with social media  policy of  the organization.

 

Therefore, it is a great opportunity to engage in close discussions with our customers. Our Co-Innovation program is a perfect forum for that as we are basically offering a “trusted  advisor” platform. Customers, partners, SAP – all parties involved in fact do benefit from our exchange  of ideas and requirements.

Niclas Otte (@Ottenic) and Sven Denecken (@SDenecken)…

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  1. Stephen Johannes
    One of the best agruments I have heard for having a social CRM/social business presence was the following:

    “Your customers are going to talk about you anyway, you can choose to be part of the conversation or ignore it and peril”.

    The more interesting technical question is how would you see B2B companies join/observe those conversations which aren’t always on facebook/twitter. In other words are there ways to integrate “professional community data” into your CRM system.  As much as I agree the major B2C channels are important, there needs to be a way to also include other social networks where your customers are present.

    Thank you,
    Stephen

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