Every marketer is aware of the importance of social media marketing, but few are aware of where they stand as far as social customer relationship management (CRM) is concerned. For better understanding of the concept, the social CRM standing of any business can be classified under one of the following four stages.
The beginning stage of social CRM is when the company is in the learning stage as far as social scenario is concerned and doesn’t have any data on its social customers. In this stage, a business starts experimenting with social media through channels like Facebook and Twitter but does not have a strategy. For a business to cross this stage and reach the next level, existing customer records from traditional CRM or purchase history can be used. Brainstorming and development of understanding about social business is required to reach the next stage.
In the second stage, the business starts putting more efforts to engage social customers but still struggles with the task due to the lack of a clear engagement model or a strategy. The businesses in this stage need to start developing a strategy. For this, research is necessary to understand customer behavior and their expectation from social channels. The business also needs to start integration of social and traditional customer data.
In the third stage, the business has a comprehensive strategy for engaging social customers as well as some data on social customers. In order to move forward from this stage, the business needs to completely integrate traditional customer data and social data. The business also needs to develop long-term vision for social customer as well as a strategy and the infrastructure to achieve the vision.
A business is in the final stage of social CRM when it meets three criteria: a strategic engagement model for social customers, ability to get social customer data through social CRM and an ability to provide real-time response to social customers.