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Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management

Jeremiah Owyang

18 Use Cases That Show Business How To Finally Put Customers First

Social and CRM: How Companies Will Manage Their Social Relationships

Over the last six months, I’ve been working closely with Ray Wang who is well known in the CRM space as an expert. Coupled with my focus on social technologies we did a deep dive on how our worlds are intersecting at Social CRM. In our opening webinar when we announced our joining of the firm, we made it clear that we were looking at the holistic business, across multiple business departments –not silos or roles.

Companies are unable to scale to keep up with the social phenomenon

We know that customers are using these social technologies to share their voices, and companies are having a very difficult time to keep up.

  • For companies, real time is not fast enough. Companies need to be able to anticipate what customers are going to say and do, in order to keep up. Although Motrin responded to angry mom's within 24 hours –it was too slow.
  • Companies are unable to scale to meet the needs of social. No matter how many community managers Dell and Comcast Cares hires to support, they’ll never be able to match the number of active customers. They need tools, and they need them now.
  • Customers don’t care what department you’re in they just want their problem fixed. Dooce's support problem with Maytag quickly became a PR nightmare –had the support group known she was an influencer (and what it means), they could have serviced her better.

Framework:  The 18 Use Case of Social CRM
Above: Framework of the 18 Use Cases of Social CRM

How To Use This Report: A Pragmatic Roadmap

Regardless if you're in IT or in a business unit, we wrote this to meet the needs of both groups. This architecture lays out all the possibilities (18 use cases) defines the problem and goal for each, and suggests some vendors to watch. It's also pragmatic, as it lays out a process on how to get started, baseline needs (listening) and what to do next.

Action Items

  1. Sign up for the webinar series. This is a deep topic, and the report is only the tip of the iceberg. As we've done in the past, we're going to offer a series of free webinars on this topic to explore each of the use cases in gritty details. Sign up for the webinar now, as we can only have 1000 attendees per webinar, as our last webinar had over 1100 registrants.
  2. Read then spread this report. Like open source, the Altimeter Group believes in open research, we want our ideas to grow, and others to take advantage of it. So if you found the report helpful, please forward the report to internal constituents, partners, vendors, clients, and blog it. Use it in your presentations, business plans, and roadmaps. I've embedded it below, and there are download features for your own use.
  3. Have an internal discussion. Evaluate your current situation at your company, then draw up which business needs need to be tackled first. Use the use cases as a roadmap by mapping out which phase comes first, and which phase comes second.
  4. Learn more and join the community of pioneers. This is new territory, we don't have all the answers, so we've created a group in which pioneers can learn from each other. It's free, and the conversation has started already. Jump into the group, and learn together.

The Altimeter Approach

Standing behind our belief in open research, the Altimeter Group wants to be part of the community. Thus, we:

Involve the expert community in the research process
Altimeter is unique as our partners can tightly comingle our topic areas and see how they converge, we highlighted our vision when we joined. We seek to be stewards of community and during our six months of research we talked to way over 40 thought leaders, vendors, and companies that are approaching this space. We blogged ideas, engaged in conversations with the #scrm hash tag, and had working sessions with thought leaders like Paul Greenberg and Esteban Kolsky. We approached research in an open way, and allowed for vendors to review the report and submit back their ideas, some of which we incorporated. This effort was a group effort and included a lot of heavy lifting from Christine Tran, operations who helped to schedule countless meetings, and guidance from Charlene Li, our founder.

Provide a holistic view through deep collaboration
We see that worlds are converging, and we model our research the same way, through really analyzing the mixtures of our different topic areas. For example, what was interesting is that my 'marketing-speak' and Ray's 'IT Speak' often resulted in the tower of babel. Although we were talking about the same topic, he had to translate IT and marketing speak both ways. After many puzzled looks, we embracing this, and realized that this isn't unique to us but a sign of companies converging as a result of mass adoption of easy to share social tools. Thus, we realized this framework that could meet the needs of the various camps would be helpful, companies need to move quickly, as customers have adopted social in rapid fashion.

Use open research to grow ideas
We want ideas to spread, and have made the entire report available at no cost on Slideshare, and put up images on Flickr, we hope you use them, under creative commons licensing of Attribution -Noncommercial - Share Alike Status, we believe in open –not closed research. We're trying a different business model, we want to involve the community of experts and publish our findings out there for everyone to benefit from, please support us by sharing it as much as possible, while we trial a new way of doing research.

Update: I forgot to mention, this report was entirely funded by the Altimeter Group. Also, we are open about disclosing who are clients are (providing they approve), as a result, we hope you'll trust as more.

Related links: I'll roundup interesting links that discuss this report

Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management

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