The advent of social media and networks has significantly changed the way we communicate. While these platforms were intended to create sharing communities, these have become veritable gold mines for entrepreneurs. It’s no longer a secret, the emergence of social media is inciting, or even forcing companies to monitor their e-reputation

However, many have not yet assessed the importance of the information they have. And yet, in recent years, digital marketing experts have constantly emphasized the interest of building a digital strategy around customer knowledge. We can never say it enough, the big data It’s more than just a personalized customer relationship, it also determines the relevance of the business’s value chain. If you follow the steps below, you should be able to significantly improve the customer relationship. Yes, the more you know your customers, the more you will be able to meet their expectations in an insightful way.

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What is Social CRM?

Social Customer Relationship Management, also called CRM 2.0, is a strategy that consists of implementing processes that encourage interaction with the consumer and their engagement using the social web (mainly social media). You will understand, the SCRM is nothing other than a means of collecting andexploit social characteristics of an individual for the benefit of conventional CRM technology.

Social CRM is no different from traditional CRM except that it is a branch, say more “social”, which takes more account of social media. It places at the heart of the business 100% human interactions between your company’s staff and your customers.

4 steps to build an effective SCRM strategy

The implementation of an SCRM strategy is long and costly (in energy and time). Above all, it requires a perfect knowledge of the possibilities offered by social media and networks. This learning can be done through training on social networks, the recruitment of a social media specialist or research and deepening work on the profession.

It is therefore essential that you take inventory of your internal resources in order to define the impact of such a strategy on your human, financial and technological resources. Rest assured, there is no question of praising expensive technological solutions. I also want to warn you about the many sites that offer a series of good practices on SCRM. The best solution that exists is that practiced by YOUR company. The behavior of your clients and future clients is indeed specific to your structure and not to the market in which you operate…

Following the steps below will allow you to respect an approach logic concerning the integration of “Social” in your policy e-CRM.

Step 1: Identify social media and networks

When developing a strong relationship policy with your customers, the foundation of the SCRM strategy lies in the identification of networks and social media. The social web includes a number of categories of websites that should be identified:

The interest that internet users have in social networks is rather disconcerting. What better than numbers to prove it to you. According to the “Connect Attitude” study conducted in 2014 by the SNCD, 39% of social media users would follow at least one brand on social networks and 51% would follow more than 5! In addition, they would be 34% to admit having become customers thanks to the powers of social networks.

Still in the context of this study, the results showed that 67% of social media users would be ready to recommend a brand. Do you now understand the value of this 1st step? Identify the networks that talk about your business without falling into the trap of choosing only those on which you are already present. Yes, your customers / prospects may be talking about you on a social network whose existence you are unaware of … To help you identify them, I recommend the Alerti tool.

Have you heard of interest groups? Or maybe the notion of hub speaks to you a little more? These are discussions launched on blogs, hubs (such as the Viadeo newsgroups) or community sites specializing in a subject. This last point could indeed concern you.

If you sell personalized license plates online, a subject like “the law around the personalization of a plate in England” is likely to impact you (positively or negatively). You follow me ? In the case of sites of interest, it is preferable to register on these networks and take part in the debates. If some of them are open, others are private and therefore difficult to use by the monitoring tools.

Unlike horizontal sites, vertical (or indirect) sites are not directly related to your products or services. If I continue with the example of personalized license plates, the platforms dedicated to tuning and customization would then be vertical sites. The best way to identify them is to put yourself in the shoes of your client by researching websites that may be related to your offer. In addition, you can already obtain a selection of referring sites thanks to the audience analysis tool that you use (Google Analytics, Xiti, etc.).

Step 2: Prepare and integrate your business on social media and networks

Once you’ve identified the social media and networks that are engaging your customers and prospects, you should logically integrate them. But be careful not to get too greedy. The integration of a company or brand on social media must be checked and prepared beforehand. Imagine a brand with 15 years of experience on the web and which only registers on social networks now? Above all, imagine the reaction of its customers to this late registration?

Besides, I strongly advise against justifying this sudden appetite for social media to your customers. If step 2 is to integrate social media, you must first learn the language of your customers by asking yourself the right questions: How do they judge my brand? What form of language do they adopt? In what tone? Is there a form of humor or not? The objective is therefore to prepare the ground through observation phases in order to subsequently draw up the typical behavior of your customers / prospects.

Once you understand their “language”, it will be easier to communicate with them. Remember in the introduction, I mentioned the very interest of opting for an SCRM strategy because of the multitude of additional data available on social media. Here we come … This observation phase must be orchestrated so that you can absorb and save the relevant information mentioned by your customers.

This will take organization, because it is a question of optimizing your working time. Above all, be methodical … You must be rigorous and think about a system that you can put in place to limit the costs linked to the efforts and time spent in recovering this precious information. Structuring the information acquired during the observation phase seems inevitable to me.

You are not going to put in the same category of information the customers who complain (the detractors) and those who praise your company (the promoters). You will also realize that there are a multitude of possible categories of information. Here are the ones that I could observe when setting up a SCRM strategy for a client:

The data you will collect must be matched with your CRM / PRM tool (see step 4). To save time and improve quality, it is recommended to assign this mission to a 100% human listening station: an employee of your company. In fact, the employee is the person most in a position to study social media, because it sometimes happens that certain subjects tackled by clients can directly concern their position. Of course, if you don’t have an internal resource who can handle this, you can try doing it yourself or using a specialized agency.

Step 3: Chat with your customers and collect data intelligently

Now that you’ve selected social media, signed up, and studied actor behavior on these platforms, you’re ready to exchange with your socionautes. When participating in a social media conversation, it is recommended that you assign someone with different writing skills. By the way, if you have internal resources evolving on the social scope (customer service, community manager), I advise you to take advantage of it.

Before you start conversing with your customers, you need to determine a number of points. First, try to identify the right moments to intervene, such as when a debate is launched on a topic in which your company is an expert. Isn’t this an opportunity for your company to get noticed? This first contact is a good way to get information about your prospects.

In addition, in addition to participating in topics that you are not originally from, I recommend that you open topics for conversation. By creating debates or questions on social media, you will effectively be able to choose a topic related to the objective of SCRM. Let’s take a concrete example: you don’t know if your customers prefer vouchers or free shipping. To find out exactly their preferences, you can ask them directly on social media.

It is for example possible to set up a online survey in which you ask for the type of promotional mechanism that social media users prefer, in exchange for which you can offer an endowment corresponding to the choice of the respondent. In this example, not only are you engaging community members with your brand, but you’re also answering your question, adding additional data to your e-CRM system!

Some of you will say to me: yes, but at that point, it is enough to administer a satisfaction survey directly to my customers or to a base made up of prospects. You are right except that the survey does not have the same impact as a social media survey. On the one hand, the survey is part of an exclusive business / individual relationship. On the other hand, you will have to pay either for the completion of the survey, or for the routing, or for both!

It is a shame indeed, especially since the scope of your publication on social media is more important than a satisfaction survey. Besides, don’t forget the very foundation of SCRM: relationship. Going through social media, your business is part of a business / community relationship. The collection of data through social networks has become commonplace. The appearance of technologies such as “social connect” or semantic research have something to do with it.

Let’s take a look at “social connect”… It’s a device that promotes the registration of a user on a website using their Facebook account, for example. The advantage for the website is twofold: not only is the registration process simplified, but this device also makes it possible to obtain more than 200 information related to the social graph of the individual. Not bad is not it ?

Again, this method does not promote customer engagement and can only be part of an SCRM strategy from the moment you set up hyper-targeted user journeys (marital status, centers of interest, etc.). Also, be careful not to fall into the “ease” trap. Gathering information is hard work, because you have to be careful not to be too intrusive in the eyes of the user.

Step 4: Use the knowledge gained

The last step is to make intelligent use of the data collected. You have to compartmentalize two types of data. There are those that you were able to acquire without having to initiate the conversation (data disseminated voluntarily by the individual via his Google + profile for example) and those that you obtained after an exchange with the sociaut. The exercise is difficult, I grant you, because the bridges between raw data and CRM technology have always been a source of conflict.

Although tools exist, you must nevertheless provide careful treatment. You certainly have customer and / or prospect files. As such, the latter already include data pre-filled by individuals. If it is a customer record, it is not necessary to overwrite the data already entered with that which you have collected on networks and social media. Indeed, an individual who has already ordered on your website generally disseminates complete information.

However, you can add additional information that the client revealed to you during a conversation (his interests, his objections, etc.). I used to advise my clients to add a “comment” field in their e-CRM tool. Do the same, as this addition can significantly improve performances of your customer service for example.

Attention must be paid to the prospect sheets. In the context of an e-commerce site, the prospect often characterizes a person registered on the site and who has never ordered. The information it provides is often limited and requires the implementation of marketing campaigns to supplement it. This is where your efforts on gathering information come in handy. You can then use the data collected to qualify your prospect and engage in the development of more targeted marketing campaigns.

To conclude

This article was about highlighting the different opportunities offered by networks and social media regarding SCRM. Many companies confirm the potential of social platforms and find it easy to retrieve information. However, if they have no difficulty in setting up a social media program, it remains difficult for them to make the connection between the multitude of data collected and their e-CRM tool …

As we have pointed out, the implementation of a Social CRM strategy naturally impacts the resources of a company: the organizational aspect, the assignment of new people to this position, the improvement and migration of tools more advanced technologies… But by asking the right questions and following the 4 steps, your company should be able to take advantage of this marketing revolution. And then, the era of big data has already started … So it’s time to master your customer data!