Rise of Social CRM and how IT & BPO Companies can Profit from it

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.

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10 responses to “Rise of Social CRM and how IT & BPO Companies can Profit from it

  1. Hi,Thanks for maintaining such a nice blog. I am following up to see if you can review or at least try service from InVox (http://www.invox.com).InVox (Intelligent Voice) allows you to configure a fortune-500 phone system in 5 mins without custom coding with Speech Recognition. We won the Best of Show at IT Expo for their intuitive do-it-yourself web 2.0 designer. The system is simple with drag and drop interface. Its web based Visio allowing you to create voice mashups. Out of the box, Invox integrates with CRM (Salesforce, Sugar, Zoho), database, web services, payment gateways, online calendars, surveys, auto answering service, diaster notifications, locators and much more.Our showcases include integrations with Twitter (say and leave your twee), Yelp, Salesforce, Yahoo and others.Invox is also offering a free PBX with call forwarding to Skype and Google Talk.I would like to schedule a time with you to showcase a demonstration of the system. As a token of appreciation, I will be willing to provide you with a free phone system with 250 mins each month for your company.I look forward to hearing from you.– BestRich Andersonrich@invox.comInvox – http://www.invox.comPhone: 1.877.800.0729 (Say 'Rich')Follow us on twitter and get $10 off on your business phone system – http://www.invox.com/twitter.php

  2. SocialCRM is NOW & everywhere, everyone has got into that act. However I personally (based on my India experience) haven't seen this media yet ready to kick-off from a corporate CRM initiative per se or its integration into a customer-service channel.Most of the Indian BPO's (mostly outsourced – not many captive) still run in a traditional TDM environment, with little or no external solutions interface capabilities.The basic customer-service itself is a far-cry in these centers, hence the issue of being innovative in integrating multi-media environments into a contact-centre operations is too far from my experience in India.

  3. Thanks Srikanth @sriksesh for your comment. You are right in saying that Social CRM isn't yet an integral part of Customer Service. This is the case not only in India, but for most organizations in US and Europe too. There are very few good case studies of organizations using Social Media to engage their customers and prospects.But having said that, let me quickly add that things are changing fast. As customers start using Social Media channels in a big way to discuss about their good and bad experiences with products and services, organizations are being forced to adopt Social CRM – else they risk getting bad publicity, not only in Social Media but also the mass media – as we have seen from some recent examples. This is the reason why Social Media customer support is gaining traction and will become part of overall Customer Support centers or contact centers. In my blog post, I have tried to highlight this business opportunity for the IT services and BPO companies and ways they can profit from it.Thanks again for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts.Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  4. Absolutely, the opportunity is huge, rightly implemented. Especially for B2C firms, which lacks the key touchpoints with their customers, this could be a great boon.The cost of customer-service, customer-retention et. al. can come down significantly, with the costs associated with contact-centre based business model can be mostly done-away with through this model.Key to success — thoughtful implementation & no lip-service to this strategy.

  5. Thanks Srikanth @sriksesh for the comment. Yes, the opportunity is huge and Social Media are a boon for B2C marketers. I expect Social CRM and Social Media Support to catch on very fast in the next 12-24 months. And BPO and IT services organizations need to start preparing for that now for effectively leveraging this opportunity.Thanks again,Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  6. Thanks Rich for your kind words, appreciate your offer.Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  7. Nice post about IT and BPO companies.

  8. Thanks for your kind words. Much Appreciated!

  9. Thanks for your kind words. Much Appreciated!

  10. Thanks for your kind words. Much Appreciated!

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