Here’s a question that I get asked often by sales and marketing professionals in regulated industries – does a Social CRM strategy work for regulated industries?
Let’s face it, if you’re in a regulated industry where you need approval from compliance department for any kind of Social Media use, it is in fact difficult to fully leverage all the benefits of a Social CRM. So, it is extremely important to first figure out why you need a Social CRM and understand benefits your company seeks from implementing it. Without understanding your specific needs and clarity on custom requirements, Social CRM implementation will not go much far and it is going to be an uphill task to convince C-Suite and Leadership to commit and invest in it.
Below are some key benefits of a Social CRM. You need to be laser focused on what exactly your company needs at this point in time and start working on solutions that will have most impact in the short term. I have worked with hundreds of leaders in companies of various sizes and they will generally cut back on investment (and commitment) if initial implementations of Social CRM do not bring in the desired results. So, tread carefully!
Here are top benefits of a Social CRM:
- Establish Effective Customer Communication Channels: It is important to know which channels your customers prefer so that you become part of their normal activity rather than disrupting it. Social CRM allows you to discover and participate on channels where your customers prefer to communicate, so you are sending messages and educating them on channels where they are already active.
- Customer Engagement and Branding: Social is all about providing value and engaging with customers around things that matter to them. The goal is to provide them information which is so valuable that they feel compelled to share it because it makes them look smart among their network. Social CRM enables you to easily engage with your customers and distribute valuable content through networks.
- Customer Feedback and Empowerment: Social channels allow you to easily involve customers in strategic decisions by getting their feedback. This not only makes customers feel empowered and more integral part of the company, but also provides valuable inputs to the company for decisions around products and services.
- Lead Generation and Nurturing: When implemented and run using effective content and campaigns, Social CRM strategy can have a huge impact on volume of leads generated. Social CRM has also become a critical part of the lead nurturing process as it helps in understanding which customers to target, when and how?
- Improved Customer Service: One of the biggest opportunities social channels present to businesses is the ability to offer customer service in almost real-time and on platforms where their customers are already participating. This also helps in dramatically lowering customer support costs.
As I said earlier, it is important to have clarity on what you need from a Social CRM and start out with the right expectations. Social CRM strategies require long-term commitment and patience. So, if your leadership is expecting overnight results, you are setting yourself up for failure!
Which Social CRM benefits are most important to your company? Would love to know where you have focused your energies with your Social CRM implementations. Please share in comments section.