How Can You Trust Social CRM?

Person Like Me

Disclaimer: I’m about to tell you something you already know, but may not be using.

In 2006, a new player in the world of corporate trust emerged. That player, as referred to by Edelman, is known as a “Person Like Me”.

You may have noticed the trend in commercials (a lack of celebrity spokespeople and the rise of “just people on the street” ads) or maybe you’re on the marketing or business operations side of things and have followed the Edelman Trust Barometer findings each year.

Whatever the reason, I’m probably not telling you something you didn’t already know.

The rapid increase of social networks merging with the increase in easily accessible Internet connectivity, increased people’s personal feelings of importance (psychology I won’t get into quite yet on this blog), therefore increasing their retaliation from being “sold to” by corporations and wanting that “real person” feel when they make a decision.

Although constantly fluctuating on the scale, a “Person Like Me” has held a steady trust percentage above 45% since it’s initial climb in 2006. While there have been a rise in trust on industry experts, most of those experts are simply rising from the pool of “People Like Me”.

Creating a “Company Like Me”

We’ll get into a plethora of strategies and tools needed for a successful Social CRM, but they all boil down to one thing, creating a “Company Like Me” to present to those people you’re hoping to create experiences for.

So, how can you create those experiences? Your company is a company and you can’t very well pretend to be a person, you’ll come off like a bunch of gophers in a human suit trying to get into a country club.

The first thing you have to do if shift your mindset from an “us and them” mindset to a “we” mindset. What can you create together with your customers so that you both benefit and learn together? The gaming industry is great at this, let me give you a few examples:

  • Doom Boom – I’m sure many of you played or at least heard about the game Doom, but did you know that it was created with the specific purpose for gamers to modify the gameplay? Coming off the success of Wolfenstein, John Carmack (the creator of that game and Doom) learned that people had uncovered the source code for the game and modified it for their own personal experiences. When releasing Doom, Carmack purposefully and openly released the source code alongside it, prompting people to modify the game and create unique experiences. Many of those experiences (like Star Wars Doom, seen below) have become even more popular than the original game.

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P.S. Doom was played by a reported 10 million people in it’s first year of release. Not too shabby.

  • Kinecting the World – Sony has always had a reputation of loving their customers and working together to create great experiences. This fact was never truer than when they released the Xbox Kinect a few years back. The Kinect was one of the most anticipated and revolutionary gaming additions in years, so you would assume they would want the secrets and technology locked up tight. Not so. They released the technology and even encouraged people to hack in and attempt to make it better, which many did. The list of Kinect hacks is impressive to say the least, including things like using the Kinect as a helicopter radar, helping blind people walk as if by sonar, digital lightsabers, and one of my personal favorites, recreating the controls from Minority Report (below).

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Get Into The Game

It’s true that you’re company or brand may not exist within the gaming world like the examples above, but you too work with your customers to create experiences that will live on for both of you. That’s how you create a “Company Like Me” and interact with your customers: you interact with your customers.

But you have to have the right mindset, or this whole idea of collaboration and Social CRM won’t work.

It’s not a technology. It’s not a fad. It’s not a simple list of rules to follow.

It’s getting into the business of your customers and creating experiences to match.

Are you game?

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9 Responses to How Can You Trust Social CRM?
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  3. Okay, even taking social CRM out of the equation, mate, I love this post purey from a gamer angle! Besides, with gamification about to become a huge part of social, CRM is going to play an even bigger role in that area too.

    Cheers, sir!

    • @DannyBrown Thanks Danny! As you know, I’m a HUGE fan and scholar of gamification and I think it’s going to be a huge deal. Social CRM is all about creating collaborative experiences with customers and the tools and theories found in gamification and game theory lend perfect tools to make those work and fruitful.

      : )

  4. Leon

    G’Day Joey,

    Really interesting stuff.The trick is to design a system that creates a collaborative approach. The idea isn’t new. But in the past, the gurus have tended to take an “behavioural” rather than an “engineering” approach .

    For instance, since 1984, I’ve been preaching that the successful workplace comprises a collection of interdependent teams, not a cluster of individuals. Sadly most attempts to develop that interdependence have been about developing interpersonal relationships. I happen to believe that good interpersonal relationships are a consequence of effective teamwork not a prerequisite for it.

    And it brings a new perspective to George bernard Shaw’s famous reminder; “the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves,. It’s how she’s treated.”

    I have an old banjo plucking mate. He says, “marketing isn’t everything but everything is marketing”

    Joey, make sure you have fun.



    • @Leon I definitely agree. Without a tight, collaborative workforce, the outside customers are going to feel how disjointed the brand experience is. The trick is to put in place a mindset of internal cooperation and processes that allow external collaboration to foster positive experiences for everyone involved.

      Thanks for the awesome comment!

      • @joey_strawn @Leon One thing you can guarantee – you always get an awesome post from Joey and an awesome comment from Leon. :)

        • Leon

          @DannyBrown @joey_strawn Joey,

          Isn’t that Danny Brown a perceptive sort of bloke?


  5. [...] How Can You Trust Social CRM? « Dangers Still Ahead (Social Faux Pas) – Pt. 2 [...]

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