What Is Social CRM and How to Implement It Successfully

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Over the last year the buzzword, "social CRM" or "SCRM" has entered the vocabulary of many in the CRM industry. If you're not familiar with it, the term social CRM basically refers to the integration of CRM and social media as a means of facilitating communication and collaboration among people within an organization as well as with its customers. In response to this trend, Microsoft has added several social capabilities to its Dynamics CRM software. If you’re interested in learning more about these, I invite you to read a past blog where I give an overview of Dynamics CRM’s social features.  And, be sure to stay tuned for my next post where I’ll cover one of these social features, Activity Feeds, in greater detail.

 Now that you're familiar with what social CRM is, I'd like to share a few implementation tips from a social CRM article I came across recently.


  1. Like its predecessor, social CRM is not a silver bullet – when CRM was first introduced many people viewed it as a magic solution that would spontaneously fix an organization's broken processes or procedures. However, time has taught us all that this is not the case. If your processes are broken CRM will only automate them, not repair them. The same is true for SCRM, the only difference now is that the public will see that your procedures are broken. So, it is imperative that before implementing SCRM you have a clear understanding of your goals and how they can effectively be reached.
  2. Start on a small scale – SCRM successes at this point in time are largely tactical ones. Businesses that use it to solve very specific problems are seeing much better results than those who try to roll out social CRM as a blanket solution across the entire organization.
  3. Expand implementation only after seeing wins– after you have a few demonstrable victories, use them as evidence to convince your manager and the rest of your team of the value of social CRM. The more excited others become about the benefits that this new system can provide, the more likely it becomes that they’ll adopt it, which in turn will increase its overall effectiveness.
  4. The right SCRM system should not require radical process changes – what it should do, is offer new ways of accessing customer data, learning about customers, and interacting with them. Once the data has been created in the SCRM system, it must be acted upon. And as always, this step – arguably the most important, still requires the knowledge and talent of your sales, marketing, and customer service teams.

 Your turn; for anyone who has implemented a social CRM system in your organization, what roadblocks did you encounter? What additional advice would you give to businesses considering SCRM?

 If you'd like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and how its social functionality can help your business succeed, please contact Intelligent Technologies.

 By: Laura Heinbockel, Intelligent Technologies Inc., a North Carolina Dynamics CRM partner.

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