What is Social CRM and How Can it Help Small Businesses?

By December 6, 2012 Social CRM 5 Comments

Social CRM

We use the term social CRM to describe Batchbook, so we thought it would be good to define what we mean by the term. If you search the web you will likely find a variety of definitions, ranging from the philosophy of connecting socially with your customers to customer database software that incorporates social elements.

Since Batchbook is software built for small businesses we will explain what social CRM means in the context of a tool that small businesses can use to build better customer relationships.

CRM is…

First of all, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. When applied to software such as Batchbook, it is talking about a tool to help you organize and interact with your customers from one central customer database. CRM is often a big, complex thing for large businesses. Small businesses don’t need the same complexity. What you need is a simple tool that organizes your customers and contacts in a way that makes sense for you.

Being Social With Customers

A social CRM isn’t just about adding Twitter and Facebook information to your customer data. Social media is important to social CRM because it is a very popular way for people to interact. But the social doesn’t stand for social media. Instead, it stands for interaction (ie. being social with customers).

Social CRM is all about the customer

Building strong relationships is where it’s at, especially for a small business where the personal touch plays such a key role. Social CRM allows you to stay more connected to your customers. Staying in-touch leads to more sales and greater customer loyalty.

For small businesses that want to build better customer relationships, a social CRM needs to enable interaction and not stand in the way. This is why integrations with social networks and other communication tools, like email newsletter services, are so important in a social CRM.

It is also important to keep track of the natural conversations you are already having with customers, so you can refer back to them later and do the right follow up with your customers. These conversations happen everywhere, from in person meetings, to phone calls, to emails. These interactions are all important social elements of your customer relationships. Social CRM gives you a place to store your notes, voice memos, and important emails.

Wherever you interact with your customers, from social networks to email to in person conversations, your CRM software should give you the tools and information you need.

Hallmarks of a Social CRM

A good social CRM will provide your small business with:

  • A central database of customers and contacts
  • An easy way to store conversation notes and emails for future reference
  • Connectivity to relationship building tools, like email newsletter software
  • Integrations with major social networks so you can see a contact’s status updates and connect with him or her

All of that information needs to be collected in one place for each of your contacts. When it is, you can develop a full picture of your relationship with that contact. All of that data comes in handy when you have your next interaction with your customer. It basically acts as a company-wide memory so that the relationship can be built and shared with your whole team.

Social CRM is Customer Focused

What all of this comes down to is that social CRM is all about the customer. Traditional CRM tends to be very sales focused, always about closing the next deal.

Social CRM, on the other hand, is a relationship focused tool. For small businesses, everything stems from the relationships you build. This covers sales, of course, but also customer satisfaction, marketing messages, and order fulfillment. Social CRM brings the whole life of the customer together in one central customer database and gives you the information you need to get to know your customers and better serve them.

 

(CRM image courtesy of Bigstock)  

 

About Brad Shimp

Bradford is Batchbook's Product Manager. His job is to continually improve our product to make it even more useful to users like you.

5 Comments

  • Brad H. says:

    Social CRM is totally necessary in the world of today. Users are so incredibly connected that not having your foot in the social door is just as good as shooting the foot altogether.

    That said, I’m not sure social CRM replaces a standard CRM system for control of productivity and efficiency. I think both should work together with deep integration to be able to communicate proficiently with all users and potential leads.

  • […] around your customers, you’ll be able to pull off last minute holiday greetings with panache. Social CRM, as a tool, helps you to stay connected with your best customers.  When you have your customers […]

  • The features and ways are changing now! So, for the perfect business development, there are so many changes come together. Social CRM is one of the best feature among them. It’s completely looking promising and very special way for the business development. I have found some of quality features about this CRM from this source. It’s completely looking one of fantastic option to replace the old one. http://www.openxcell.com/

  • Social CRM is customer relationship management promoted by communication with customers through social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Using social CRM, you can make a picture of your clients, what they like, what they dislike, when they’re happy, when they’re unhappy.

  • winfredable says:

    Todays world is of Social media.. the blend of social media and Customer Relationship Management (social CRM) enables your brand to truly listen to your customers more than ever before. It enhances your traditional CRM by listening for and engaging with social media conversations, tracking new leads from a Tweet or Facebook post and moving them into your sales funnel.