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The Value of Social CRM for Small Business – Take One

I had the opportunity to speak on the Vermont Business Expo 777 panel last week,  to a full room of 80+ smart folks gathered to learn about Social Business. The panel covered a wide range of topics, the focus was on what it means to be a business, in this new age, call it the Social Web, or Web 2.0. The panelists, listed below all had great insights, from Social and  Mobile to Legal and from Cloud to Geo Location. My focus was on Social CRM and what that really means, specifically to a small/Vermont business. We each had 7 minutes, before a scoreboard buzzer (think NCAA basketball type buzzer) sounded.

The Highlights:

  • Social CRM is an extension of CRM, the biggest change is a Focus on your customers, not a focus on you
  • Organizations are not properly aligned, any Social CRM strategy must include strong guidelines for alignment (around the customer)
  • Social CRM is based on the principle that you will invite your customer into the ecosystem and interact with them based on their needs, not your rules.

For Departments:

  • Service and Support: Keep the ordinary, ordinary; Social includes public channels; include more personality in your interactions,
  • Sales: The value-add of you and your company’s expertise, not just your product are important, show your knowledge beyond just your product,
  • Marketing: Learn to listen, engage and create with your customers, highlight facts and value along with personality

Finally, Social CRM can and will go beyond technology. For small businesses, think about the clerks who work the check-out line, delivery personnel, finance who speak to customers about invoices. All these people represent your business and represent a Social Network.

[slideshare id=4343633&doc=vermont777-100528095102-phpapp02]

The Panel included: Karen O’Niell, Gravel and Shea, Rachel Carter, Rachel Carter PR, John Burton, Network Performance Inc., Jessie Angus, Angus Media Services, Tom Jaros, Empower Mobility, Me, Comity Technology Advisors and Joe Mescher, http://www.joemescher.com/

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