Social Media: The New Front End of CRM System

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have undergone a fascinating technological transformation over the last decade, starting as client-server apps, followed by web-enabled CRM apps (where users can access CRM application over internet using their web browsers).

But in spite of this technological transformation and progress in system architecture, all CRM systems essentially record transactional information using pre-determined fields on the screen (front-end) to capture information in the database, and company is in total control of conversation (should I say interrogation) with customer at every stage. [pullquote] But in spite of this technological transformation and progress in system architecture, all CRM systems essentially record transactional information using pre-determined fields on the screen (front-end) [/pullquote]

Thanks to rapid expansion of reach and effectiveness of Social Media channels, this is about to change. Social Media has empowered customers like never before as they can discuss about brands/products on Social Media channels and companies have no control over what customers are saying about their brands/products. This discussion is visible to all including other customers, potential customers and competitors.

The best any marketer can do is to Listen and Learn from what customers are saying and Engage them in meaningful conversations. In other words, treat Social Media channels as the front-end of CRM system, capture all relevant information from Social Media channels in the database and use Predictive Analytics and Knowledge Management tools to derive insights and help in decision making.

What is important to note here is that “Social” is not a middle-ware or another layer in the architecture of CRM systems, but is the front-end of CRM system, where customers decide the format and content of information. [pullquote] What is important to note here is that “Social” is not a middle-ware or another layer in the architecture of CRM systems, but is the front-end of CRM system, where customers decide the format and content of information. [/pullquote]

It is responsibility of the company to record and store all relevant information from Social Media channels and derive value from it by using Predictive Analytics and Knowledge Management tools for effectively engaging customers.

What do you think? Do you agree that Social Media is the new front-end of the CRM system? Or is it middle-ware? Please do share your thoughts:

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7 responses to “Social Media: The New Front End of CRM System

  1. Scott Wallask

    I agree that it's useful to think of social media as the front end of CRM, simply because of how rapidly social media can affect a company's standing on the web (particularly is something bad happens, like BP's oil spill). I don't think of middleware as something a customer can directly alter, but perhaps I'm oversimplying things in that regard.

  2. It's neither–Social CRM is a philosophy, a culture, and a way of doing business–the tools you describe are merely a means to the end of implementing Social CRM. Focusing on tools such as text and predictive analytics and “storing relevant results” will merely perpetuate the notion that software tools are the heart of SCRM.

  3. Thanks Mstrohlein for visiting my blog and for your comment. Please check out my definition of Social CRM – Social CRM is the business strategy of engaging customers through Social Media with goal of building trust and brand loyalty (for more see this: http://hkotadia.com/archives/1648 )What I have tried to highlight in this post is how Social Media have become the new front end of CRM “systems” – not CRM.Hope this helps,Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  4. Thanks Scott @SAPCRM_observer for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated!Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  5. Jason Crm Smith

    I just attended this event.

    WIN HP mini Netbooks (5 Netbooks) and 100 Dynamics CRM online subscription (free for 6 months).

    The Dynamic Business Week is the event where you can experience the Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) community in action. This event offers you a unique opportunity to network with your peers, industry experts and Microsoft Dynamics CRM team members. Share ideas and knowledge— all in one place.

    Visit Dynamic Business Week by following this link. http://bit.ly/dsBBc4 .

    This event lets you interact with industry experts in the CRM and social CRM space and also with other attendees that are interested in SCRM .

    This is a virtual event with social media interaction built from ground up, the Virtual events platform used is http://social27.com and it is based on Windows Azure platform.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/

  6. I agree its front end of CRM, but many customers misuse these social media to publish false/wrong news, which is a very sad part 😦

  7. I agree its front end of CRM, but many customers misuse these social media to publish false/wrong news, which is a very sad part 😦

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