On the surface, one of the major differences between a traditional CRM and a Social CRM is that the Social CRM has an external-facing portion. External-facing questions are ones that sound like:
- How do I create content for my audience?
- Should we Retweet this?
- Who should I Circle on Google+?
We’re going to talk a boatload about external issues regarding Social CRM as the weeks and months progress, so today we’re going to take a little break and talk about an internal process that sets the stage for almost everything else your team is going to do.
In order for your team to be best prepared to undertake relating to managing customers on social networks, you have to effectively roll out your sCRM plan to those employees and throughout your company.
Let’s talk about how that rollout needs to be handled.
Why Teach The Team?
It may not seem all that important to take such care in rolling out a social media CRM strategy to your internal team members outside of the standard education, but when it comes to something like this (that will externally reflect on the perception of the brand), it’s vital.
Engineering the culture change often necessary…and by extension making social media an integrated and instinctive part of what an organization does, requires going beyond having a center of expertise, a handful of experts, or even a social media rock star on staff. Organizations have to educate employees across the company broadly and give them the information they’ll need to effectively engage in the social Web.
Of course, Barger is talking about when rolling out a full-scale social media plan for an entire brand, but the sentiment still applies. Since a good portion of the Social CRM’s activities will be taking place in view of the public, it’s important every employee knows what’s going on and understands how the brand is being represented to prospective customers.
Let The Educating Begin
Barger goes on in his book to describe three levels of educating (Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctorate), but don’t worry, we’re not going that deep. I am going to present 3 tactics when rolling out the plan though.
Calling All Peeps – After you’ve finalized how the brand is going to be represented via your Social CRM team and what activities the team will be involved with, call a quick informational meeting (or series of meetings, depending on the size of your company) and briefly explain the initiative and purpose. You don’t have to get too detailed, but everyone should know you’re stepping into the social arena and how you’re going to present yourself. This serves two purposes.
First, you’re getting everyone on the same page of understanding about the presence of the initiative. Secondly, you’re letting anyone already on social networks within your company (and don’t fool yourself, they’re there), on how outward facing communication is going to be framed going forward. This meeting should be followed with a quick 1-2 page information sheet explaining the initiative and purpose, beginner’s social media etiquette guide for the brand, resource guide for people wanting to learn more and a list of social points of contact within the company in case people have questions.
For More Information… – The second stage of the rollout should be deeper communication and instruction for those that will be in direct contact with your Social CRM team (this will most likely include IT, Customer Service, Accounts Service, etc) and will need to understand what they’re doing and why. This level of the rollout will be more about total understanding of how the brand is being represented via the Social CRM and why.
Who are the target demographics, what type of people are being communicated with, what tools and systems will be being used, etc? This will be your internal support team, so make sure they understand the rules of the road with deeper online etiquette guides and instructions and direct lines of support on Social CRM questions inside the company.
The Dirty Dozen – It’s important that whoever you decide is fully owning the Social CRM has a complete and formal training on social media platforms and tips and tricks. Of course, you’ll be training them on the tools and brand image, but make sure they get a wider vision of why social is important to your conversations with customers and buy into the sCRM system. Teach them the internal systems and how they all apply to your current CRM, but more than that, bring in thought leaders to confer with them about outside issues and the industry as a whole.
Social CRM isn’t just about learning the tools, it’s about understanding the online world out there and how to navigate through it. This will be constant learning for the team and you should build into the budget conferences and regular training sessions throughout the year. The social world changes quickly and your team will need to stay on their toes to keep up.
Think of it like a funnel (not your sales funnel though), even though you’ll be doing a lot of these steps simultaneously. You’re training everyone and building up their knowledge, then training a fewer people on a much deeper level of tools and systems and then training even a smaller number year-round to be epic warriors for your brand in the online wastelands.
It’s an exciting time, and it’s even more exciting when the entire company is on board with you, but it’s up to you to roll the information out to them appropriately.
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