Social CRM Requires a New Enterprise Entirely

enterprise idea

Welcome back. If you’ve been following along for any amount of time here you’ve noticed that we’ve been talking about Social CRM, but more specifically we’ve been discussing the systems and space your business needs to inhabit to be in the right mindset for sCRM.

I’m sure you all want to talk about specific tools and strategies, but it’s far more important to understand how to set the stage and prepare your company for the introduction of sCRM before bringing in the actual tools and strategies.

That’s why we’ve been talking about things like internal rollouts, understanding the social customer, social media understandings, who owns sCRM, etc., and we’ll be delving into these more thoroughly as we progress here.

Today we’re going to look at another important piece to have in place and understood in order for Social CRM to have a place. I’m talking about the entire experience of the enterprise your sCRM will inhabit. More specifically I’m talking about Enterprise 2.0.

Just What The Heck is Enterprise 2.0?

Paul Greenberg, the guy who literally wrote the book on Social CRM describes Enterprise 2.0 this way:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers, to support and foster a culture of collaboration and trust that extends beyond the doors of the company itself.

I love that definition and won’t expand on it anymore. Let’s discuss the pieces though, shall we?

  1. The Platforms (aka “emergent software platforms”) – As we’ve discussed before, you can’t do the job with the wrong tools. A lot of companies will try to shift into Enterprise 2.0 using the tools at hand, which usually ends up with a hybrid Frankenstein monster that does more damage than good. Web 2.0 was powered by a completely new system of application mechanics and it’s stupid to imagine Enterprise 2.0 will take anything less. It’s true that consumer tools don’t have the enterprise in mind, but in recent times many enterprise level tools have been created (many of which we’ll discuss on this blog), and with a simple Google search for “enterprise 2.0 tools I found 206,000,000 in 0.39 seconds.
  2. The People (aka “within companies….and their…customers”) – It’s true that the massive growth of the Internet has changed your consumers (mainly generation X and Y), but it’s also true that that same change has shifted the internal makeup of your workforce. People entering the workforce now expect instant communication and understanding. They want to have fun at work and desire to collaborate (which is great and we’ll get to next). They tend to give out respect on individual bases instead of based on arbitrary titles and they work to live instead of living to work. Your Enterprise 2.0 will grow or fail around these types of people and it’s your job to facilitate their work environment and desire to grow and learn as opposed to forcing what they feel to be “archaic” principals on them. Ignore this point at your own peril.
  3. The Processes (aka “foster a culture of collaboration and trust”) – How much individuality do your employees have? How much freedom to act on their own impulses for what they feel would be best for the company? It’s unnecessary to spout Zappos here as a case study for the prime Enterprise 2.0 company culture, but if you aren’t familiar with their processes, look into them. Enterprise 2.0 is entirely built around the idea of collaboration with your customers to create their prime buying and sharing environments, which is pretty handy because your new workforce lives to collaborate. Find processes to merge those two worlds, even if it’s not in your processes right now. It’s not about working with your customer in mind, it’s not about working for your customers either anymore. It’s about working with your customers to find how they prefer to interact and grow with you. That’s your job now.

The definition is clear. The pieces defined and expanded. Now it’s up to you to want to make the change and explore your culture for places where the process are inward facing and start looking for ways to make those collaborative processes aimed at creating experiences for your customers with the right tools with people wanting to collaborate.

All the pieces are there, you just have to find and use them for your brand. If you need help, we can totally do that, or you could just subscribe here and follow along as we delve deeper and deeper into these ideas going forward.

It’s going to be a fun ride and I look forward to having you join us.


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4 Responses to Social CRM Requires a New Enterprise Entirely
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