I met Jacob Morgan for the first time (in person) when he spoke at the PRSA T3PR Conference in June. I was impressed with his presentation on social CRM. For those of you who don’t know Jacob, he is a thought leader in social business. He is also the author of Twittfaced – Your Toolkit for Understanding and Maximizing Social Media was entirely co-authored through online collaboration and demonstrates the power of social media and online collaboration.
As a result of social media communications, PR professionals are working with departments outside of communications, and touching other areas of their organizations. I thought it would be great to discuss with Jacob how PR fits into social CRM (expanding the PR person beyond the traditional role).
What is the difference between social CRM and CRM?
Quite simply, Customer Relationship Management or CRM has always been about getting as much data about a customer as possible in order to sell them more stuff. Traditionally organizations market a product or service to a customer and that’s it, there is no relationship with that customer and there is no collaboration. CRM is an inside-out approach to managing relationships and is focused on one thing, the transaction. Social CRM is an extension of CRM that looks at how organizations can involve and collaborate with customers to deliver products and services that they actually want. This approach is outside-in and works most powerfully to build (and empower) customer advocates and improving user experience. SCRM includes not only social data but customer data and preferences as well and is focused on the interaction with the transaction being a by-product.
Why does PR fit into social CRM?
According to a recent study done by USC social media budget and authority largely rests in the hands of PR departments. Since social media is a part of Social CRM it’s going to be important for PR professionals to understand where they fit within the various SCRM areas.
What is the role/responsibility of the PR professional in social CRM?
The PR professional now needs to understand customer facing issues as they pertain to marketing, sales, service and support all while being able to collaborate with the customer to help create and empower advocates. PR folks don’t need to be experts in all these areas but they need to know enough to be able to solve problems. It is also going to be crucial for PR pros to have people they can rely on in all these areas to support them when they need it.
Can you discuss the difference between Enterprise 2.0 and social CRM? How do the two work together?
At its core Enterprise 2.0 is all about internal collaboration whereas Social CRM is all about external collaboration. You really need both. Take for example a customer that might have feedback about a product or service (this can be a problem, complain, solution, etc) how does this feedback or information get brought internally, how does a solution get developed, and how does the solution get disseminated out to the customer? From a high level we’re talking about how this information and process flows from outside in and inside out.
What’s the best way for an organization to embrace social CRM and how can communications professionals help?
Social CRM doesn’t need to be complicated at all. It needs to start with a clearly defined set of objectives and values for both the customer and the company involved. Organizations need to come to a very simple yet profound realization. The way people interact and communicate with one another has changed dramatically over the past decade, so how can organization still interact and communicate with people the same way it did 10 or 20 years ago as it does today? It can’t. Organizations need to adapt and change; those that don’t will not succeed. Start by understanding what sort of customer facing problems you have, perhaps do an assessment to see where you are, where you want to be, and what it’s going to take to get there; then do it!
Jacob is the principal of Chess Media Group a Social Business Consultancy focused on developing Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0, and Social Media strategies for mid and enterprise size organizations. Chess recently released their whitepaper on Understanding Social CRM which explains the above topics and more in greater detail (with visuals!). Jacob also authors a popular Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 blog and you can connect with him on Twitter @JacobM.