In my first post of this year published on January 2nd, titled 2010: Year of Social CRM, I highlighted why Social CRM is important and why NOW is the time to invest in it. In little more than three months since then, many CMOs and brand managers have realized the need for engaging Customers through Social Media channels and companies are drawing up detailed plans for their Social CRM initiatives. I expect this activity to speed up considerably during Q3 and Q4 of this year and well into next year.
And as companies start spending their marketing and IT budgets on Social CRM initiatives, not only large CRM and Analytics software companies such as Oracle, SAP, SAS, but many mid & small sized software vendors are gearing up for what promises to be the next phase of CRM “evolution” – though looking at the speed with which this change is coming about, some may choose to describe it as Social CRM “revolution”.
Thanks to this Social CRM (R)Evolution, IT and BPO Service providers too have an incredible opportunity. They should extend their CRM and BPO service offering to include following key areas to capitalize on this emerging opportunity:
- Development of Engagement Platforms and Communities
- Integration of “Traditional” CRM apps with Social CRM functionality for 360 degree “view of customer”
- Master Data Management – A major issue in CRM projects, more so in Social CRM
- Social Media Monitoring, Reporting and Analytics
- Creation of brand specific Social Media Content
- Social Network Analysis
Sooner companies realize the untapped potential of Social CRM opportunity and act on it by building their competency, better for them.
For IT & BPO service providers who operate on lower end of price spectrum, this is a unique opportunity for offering value-added services and moving up the price spectrum, improving their revenue and margins.
Affiliated Computer Services, a leading service provider recently launched “Community as a Strategy” – a suite of social CRM services that captures customer insights from social media sites to improve service and responsiveness of organizations. For ACS, this is a step in the right direction. Hope other IT and BPO Service Providers take notice of this development and follow ACS’ lead in this direction.
What do you think? How IT and BPO Service Providers can profit from emerging Social CRM opportunity? Please do share your thoughts and opinion.