We have all pushed; each other, as much the world around us, to try and wrap our head around the changing nature of a customer’s relationship with a company. We discuss what they want, changing expectations, immediacy, co-creation, loyalty….there are many opinions, not what I would call agreement. The one topic where there is some level of consensus, is that CRM in its current form is simply not equipped to handle the change. With respect, I am personally, not ready to throw in the towel on what we have called Social CRM.
The Best Defense, is a Good Offense
As I suggested a few weeks ago, Enabling Social CRM is a convergence of Enterprise 2.0 and CRM, Prem also made some compelling arguments in his post – SocialCRM v Enterprise 2.0 Fight or Tango – While the arguments made do have validity, we need to go one level deeper. We need to lay of the foundation that supports the premise of my thinking: Social CRM within an organization can not be fully realized until the core principles of Enterprise 2.0 are realized. Yes, I am hedging a bit because not all businesses are large enough to fully realize ‘true’ Enterprise 2.0. In smaller organizations, I believe it is acceptable to ‘get it done’ however it needs to get done. Many small businesses are in fact MORE social, with respect to their relationships.
Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.
In the context of Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0 meets the specific technology needs which not only enable a company, but mobilize the workforce and facilitate information sharing (ie no more silos) required to support Social CRM. In my previous post, Social CRM is a Journey, as well as Esteban Kolsky’s the Slow Path to SocialCRM, we both suggest that this is not an overnight occurrence, and companies must take baby steps in order to get there. Many tried to extend the metaphor, and asked what vehicle – I am not sure, but maybe paving the road is the first step?
I will repeat my rallying cry “It is not about technology, but about the best use of technology. It is not about the platform, but about the people who are the platform.” If tools and technology can be used to leverage the knowledge within and across the Enterprise, if the Enterprise is able to adapt and communicate efficiently, then meeting the needs of the customer will be that much easier; Then SocialCRM can be realized.
I believe that we need to figure this out, from the inside out. Therefore, In order to realize Social CRM, get your Enterprise 2.0 in order.
In the weeks to come, I look forward to exploring just how to accomplish this large task? What are your thoughts?