Social media has quickly become one of the primary methods of communication for consumers. The businesses that have recognized this reality also know that if they can reach out to customers via social media, they can engage customers in ways they never could in the past. This article, Social Media Customer Relations Tips, has some good insights.
Many CRM vendors have also recognized the need to integrate social media into CRM, and some, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, have already started adding social media features. A large part of making social media work with CRM comes from actually understanding how the various forms of social media work.
You already have numerous ways of contacting your customers. You have their phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, and possibly some type of web-based portal. If you make the move into social media, you should not abandon these other methods of communication. Instead, social media should enhance them.
Unlike email, for example, social media relationships are often public. Posts on Facebook and Twitter are seen by everyone. Therefore, these tools are not good for customer support. If a customer has specific private support issues, they should use the traditional channels. Social media, however, might be good for suggestions, feedback, promotions, and general announcements. This communication, however, should still be a two-way street. If a customer leaves feedback, respond to it, and if you post an announcement, leave it open for comments and concerns.
If you do decide to make social media a part of your customer relationship management, you should plan it carefully and have a well-devised strategy for implementation. You should test your social media tools before going live. And finally, you should make sure you have an organized structure for using social media. Do not let every employee say whatever they want on behalf of the company. Plan it, prepare it, and execute it just as you would with a press release or other major communication tool.
By PDG Consultants, New Jersey Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner