Social CRM: "The Latest Sensation"?

According to a new, 24-page report (July 2011) from Focus Research, a market research firm based in New Orleans, SCRM "is the latest sensation in the business world. It came on very quickly - almost sneaking in on the heels of social media. Before we could figure out social media, we were discussing how to use it to improve our relationships with clients."

To create the report - "Focus Experts' Guide: Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM)" - Focus brought together four experts in the emerging world of social CRM. "Lead expert" Esteban Kolsky is the principal and founder of ThinkJar, an advisory and research think-tank focused on customer strategies. The three "contributing experts" are: Mike Boysen, CRM strategist at Effective CRM; Mitch Lieberman, vice president of marketing at Sword Ciboodle; and Brian Vellmure, the principal and founder of Initium LLC.

One high-level excerpt from the report:

"Social CRM is not about technology alone; it is about the cultural changes necessary to support new (and improve existing) processes using new or existing technology to make them work. To this extent, organizations must understand where they stand and what they need in each of three areas:

  1. Technology: Organizations must understand what technology they have, how it is used, and what they can do with all of it to reduce the costs and time constraints of coming up with new tools. Implementation of social CRM is meant to work with traditional CRM, so an inventory of tools and technologies available will be very useful to ascertain.
  2. Culture: No business can become a social business without first being social internally. Being social (collaborating, expressing opinions, analyzing data and acting on it, remaining focused on being customer-centric) is a set of attributes that belongs to the culture camp. Organizations that need to change or adapt their culture to the new social model must undertake that change before trying to implement and use social CRM.
  3. Processes: One of the main reasons to collect social data is to understand what customers' likes, needs, and wants are and to use that information to improve processes, products, and services to deliver against their expectations. To this extent, organizations willing to embark on a path to Social CRM must have documented processes and methodologies for changing them in place."

Sections in the report include:

  • Essentials: A market overview, including the top drivers of social CRM adoption.
  • The Market: A summary of current market conditions and trends and a list of key vendors.
  • Your Needs: Knowing your requirements in order to drive solution choices.
  • How To Buy: Key product, cost, and vendor considerations, including considerations and advice on how to compare candidate solutions and suppliers.
  • The Focus Short List: The top solutions and vendors as determined by the Focus Experts contributing to this Guide.
  • Conclusions: Final recommendations and suggested next steps.

For more information, contact Focus Research at or 985-867-9494.

Published: August 17th, 2011

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