Do you ever feel like you’re trapped by the CRM processes you put in place years ago? You see social media cropping up everywhere and hear more and more people now talking about Social CRM but your tried and tested processes don’t really allow you to interact and measure in meaningful, goal-driven ways. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just break through the pipes of your CRM technology and just run out into the plethora of contacts raining down from the social network clouds?
Andy Dufresne had a plan to escape his confines. It wasn’t as simple as deciding to leave and start a new life. It won’t be as simple for you either. There are walls, traditions, bars and contracts holding you in place. But you can escape with the right plan, and with the right plan you can bring in a social CRM revolution that might just free your business communications for years to come.
Step 1: Find the Right Tools
Brian Magierski defines “Social CRM” this way:
The Social CRM movement has the potential to re-claim the CRM for its real purpose – engaging customers and driving a virtuous cycle of value for the customers, company and shareholders.
Business strategies can only be true strategies when they are defined by a specific goal. If the only business goal is to set up Social CRM technology within your brand, you’re dead before you begin. You’ve got to have clear success metrics like increasing revenue, improving customer retention, increasing customer loyalty or increasing click-through-rate in mind to know which tools will be best suited for your escape plan.
Here are some of the questions to ask when deciding on the proper tools to use:
- What are our customer-centric goals for implementing a Social CRM?
- What are our business-centric goals for implementing a Social CRM?
- Are we willing to change/abandon the systems we have in place or do we need an add-on feature or features?
- When we adopt social strategies, will they simply be another way to push marketing messages to customer demographics?
- Will we need to focus on listening or a combination of listening+analyzing+interacting?
Now that you’ve got your tools in place, you’ll need a plan.
Step 2: Hiding Behind Raquel Welch
The plan is the tricky part. You have a business to run and there are a lot of working parts to make sure everything with your brand keeps running. You can’t slow down sales to try and implement new systems and technology. You can’t pull customer service from their posts just to teach them new listening techniques and networks. You can’t interrupt receiving from getting in and out what needs to come in and go out to make sure you stay afloat.
Everything has to be done behind the scenes, but it still has to look pretty.
I’m not going to pretend to tell you your business and how things will work best for your staff and departments. This will happen different at every company, but if it happens, it needs to happen correctly. With the answers to the questions from the previous section, strategize with your tools and write up a detailed roll-out plan. In the plan include steps for department introduction, preparation, training, implementation and analysis.
Then all you have to do is crawl through it.
Step 3: Through the Muck
You have your plan, now implement it. Just realize you’ll be crawling through a lot of crap to get where you’re going.
Step 4: Take It All In
Andy Dufresne stood in the rain barebacked. You’ll be standing in the rain of new leads and contacts and communication channels. Whether or not you’re barebacked will be completely up to you.
Once you have your freedom, don’t take it for granted. Set up very detailed analytics software and keep an eye on what your new system is bringing in and doing. Enjoy the new areas you can explore now, but make sure you’re constantly in touch with how well your Social CRM is performing. Weekly and monthly reports should be a regular thing. Have someone who not only knows how to put together reports but can synthesize and analyze the data coming in. You need to make sure your escape plan worked and you aren’t about to just get pulled back in by the fuzz.
Fixin’ Up The Boat
I won’t promise it will be all smooth sailing. Even when you escape, you’ll still have to continuously work on fixing up the boat so you can continue to stay afloat, but at least you’ll be sailing the correct seas.
Freedom is a wonderful thing, but good business is even better. Don’t let your brand be Brooks, don’t get overwhelmed by life outside the cage and give into it. Set a detailed plan in motion early, so once you get out there, you’re ready to conquer the world.
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