Aug 30, 2010

Social CRM. What is it? Just another buzz word?

If your customers are on Twitter, then you have to be there too. The same goes for Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare or whatever other platforms popup. This is the basics of Social CRM: be where your customers are.

You won’t have to look far to see the tenants of Social CRM in action. Last week I noticed a short Twitter dialogue between Jackie Huba, who blogs at Church of the Customer, and Hyatt:

Jackie Huba: @HyattConcierge Not sure why every time I stay at Hyatt Place, I have to have u email a receipt. Receipts on checkout do not have total $$    Thursday, August 26, 2010 11:58

Hyatt: @jackiehuba Is this reoccurring at a specific Hyatt Place?    Thursday, August 26 12:03

Jackie Huba: @hyattconcierge Birmingham Downtown and Birmingham Inverness    Thursday, August 26, 2010 12:03

Hyatt: @jackiehuba Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. I will forward this to the hotel so they can get this issue corrected.    Thursday, August 26, 2010 12:24

Hyatt gets it. In a few short tweets Hyatt dealt with a customer service issue. It was professional, responsive and effective. It was also very public. Jackie Huba has over 5,800 followers on Twitter, and she is considered a CRM guru. Her complaint was noticed.

What’s interesting is Hyatt didn’t have to implement special resources to reply to Jackie. It wasn’t a PR crisis. It was business as usual. The response was immediate, and the whole dialogue took less than 30 minutes. When you visit @hyattconcierge you’ll notice tweet after tweet are service related. It’s just another touch point in Hyatt’s sales and customer service process.

Be where your customers are

Social media is so new that many companies are still grappling with it. They’re trying to understand what it is; how to use it; what resources it requires; what policies should be in place to govern it; how to measure it; who is responsible for it; and the list continues.

Don’t make social media too complicated. It’s just another touch point. Your customers can call you, fax you, visit you, email you and now they can tweet you.

The newness of social media is why we have this buzz word: Social CRM. We need to add “social,” so we can give this new channel the attention it requires. The Hyatt Concierge service on Twitter requires resources: software, knowledge base, people, processes and metrics. It’s not much different from a telephone call center, it’s just on Twitter.

Whatever it takes to change behaviors

Social CRM may just be another buzz word, but if that’s what it takes to get companies to focus on social media then so be it. Every touch point is an opportunity to solve problems, build brand and demonstrate your capabilities. Don’t squander it.

What’s your take? Is Social CRM just another buzz word, or is this topic really blowing up and becoming something more?

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