Does Your Small Business Need a Social CRM Strategy?

How do you maintain your customer relationships? Now-a-days, there is an explosion of customer touch points. Relationships don’t just happen over the phone or in person. Your customers are connecting with you via email and, increasingly, on social networks.

Look at your customers relationships and ask yourself where you could do better

Every business, even the smallest of small businesses, needs to think about how they are going to start and grow customer relationships.  But do you really need a social CRM strategy? You betcha!

Defining Social CRM Strategy

CRM strategy is just a fancy way of saying you have a plan for how you are going to engage with your customers. Social CRM strategy is often focused on planning your social network interactions with customers, on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. However, a true social CRM strategy is not an afterthought for your overall customer relationship strategy, but rather a version 2.0 of it.

Your relationship with the customer is evolving. Small businesses who care about building long lasting relationships with customers now have more ways then ever to do it. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have opened up new communication channels. People will search online for your product, so having things like an active blog and social profile are essential. A social CRM strategy is your overall plan for how to manage customer relationships in a more social world.

Are You Connecting?

If there are areas where you could be more social with your customers, a simple social CRM strategy can be very helpful. You don’t need to over-think it. Just look at your customer relationships and ask yourself where you could do better. Be sure to turn over every rock. You may discover that a lot of your customers use Twitter and that they want to be able to send in questions via that platform. Don’t be afraid to try out new ways of communicating. A customer focused blog may be just the ticket for building better relationships for one business, while a Pinterest board may work better for another.

Review all of your customer connection points. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Do you have a friendly relationship with customers before they even buy?
  • Are customers able to easily contact you during and after the sale?
  • Does your customer service make your customers happy?
  • Are you providing added value to keep customers interested in your brand?

How Can You Help Your Customers?

The most important thing to remember when coming up with any business strategy, but especially your social CRM strategy, is that it’s all about the customers. Start by writing down some relationship goals. As with any healthy relationship, you need to be willing to give before you ever think of getting. So, while getting more sales is an essential goal, try to have some goals focused on helping your customers.

Some good goals to have are:

  • Be more responsive with customer service on social networks
  • Connect with customers regularly via an email newsletter
  • Be more engaged with customers on Facebook

Write Your Social CRM Strategy

Once you discover where you can be more social and define some customer-centric goals, writing the actual strategy is easy. Make it a list of action items that you can accomplish. If your goal is to engage customers after the sale by providing them some educational content, your strategy would state how often you will write new content and how you will share it with your customers (ie. Facebook, email newsletter, blog).

Review your strategy to make sure it is focused on building stronger relationships with the people who buy from you. By having a strategy to be more social with your customers, you will close gaps where you could lose touch with customers, as well as create opportunities for more sales and referrals for your business. So, what are you waiting for?

About Brad Shimp