How IT Services Companies can prepare for Social CRM opportunity

In one of my earlier post, I highlighted the Social CRM opportunity for IT Services Companies. In this post, I want to elaborate further on it by explaining HOW they can leverage this opportunity.

First step is to understand how customers of clients are using various Social Media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). And since this varies by the industry, IT services companies will need to come up with industry specific Social CRM approach and solution. Domain experts in each industry segment (called Verticals) need to evaluate ways their clients can:

  • integrate social media channels into websites
  • integrate the new channels into their Sales, Marketing & Support processes and systems
  • include social media metrics in performance dashboards and SLAs

Next step for IT services companies is to develop delivery capability to address Social CRM requirements of their clients. They should partner with leading vendors in key areas of Social CRM, namely:

  • Social Media Measurement & Monitoring
  • Customer Community Platforms
  • Social Media and Network Analytics

And finally, once the team has good understanding of the requirements (step 1) and tools (step 2), they should execute prototype or pilot projects with reference to each industry segment (or Vertical) that will demonstrate their capability in the area. [pullquote] Those IT services companies who demonstrate thought leadership and build their delivery capability in this area “Proactively” will emerge as winners. [/pullquote]

Given the buzz about Social CRM in the industry, I expect demand for “Social CRM” tools and services to pick up substantially in the near future. Those IT services companies who demonstrate thought leadership and build their delivery capability in this area “Proactively” will emerge as winners. Moreover, Social CRM offers a great opportunity for smaller IT services companies to “leap-frog” their larger rivals in this area who might be slow in responding to this opportunity.

What do you think? How should IT Services Companies prepare for Social CRM opportunity?


4 responses to “How IT Services Companies can prepare for Social CRM opportunity

  1. I agree the opportunity is a major one, and demonstrating innovation is an important component of differentiation. For a company I'm working with right now, step one is not that easy. They're small enough to be unable to have any dedicated social media resource; constantly growing so everyone's extremely busy; and have hundreds of B2B customer contacts which – in my opinion – makes it more difficult than researching the social media usage patterns of consumer audiences.Do you know good examples of System Integrators in the $20-$50m annual revenue range that have ramped up in this way?

  2. Thanks @drororbach for visiting my #scrm blog and sharing your thoughts.I agree that for a small or medium sized firm, step one may not be easy. In fact, even large IT services firms with revenue larger than US$ 500 Million or more have few dedicated Social CRM consultants if they don't have projects, justifiably so under current economic climate, where cost control and productivity are so important. I can understand the constrains for a firm with annual revenue of $20-50 Million.If a IT services company doesn't have dedicated consultants for Step 1, I would suggest that they directly go to Step 2 – Partner with leading vendors in Social Media Measurement & Monitoring, Customer Community Platforms or Social Media and Network Analytics areas. You can leverage this partnership to learn about the market and jointly explore business development opportunities.But lack of resources or consultants should not be excuse not to take initiative in Social CRM. The opportunity is too good to be missed and sooner you start, better for you – as you will not only have first mover's advantage in the market, but will find it easier to establish relationship with Social CRM partners since the field is less “crowded”. Hope I have answered your question. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  3. Easy to remember URL for this post on #scrm

  4. Easy to remember URL for this post on #scrm

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