Posted by: Charles Maitland | Monday 20 July, 2009

More on Next Generation CRM

@tekoppele Has pointed me to this additional post from PGreenBlog which further examines the Social CRM/CRM 2.0 concept.

Now I have only skimmed the post which has some deeper ideas than I have examined but a couple of key points stand out

Its time to start figuring out and documenting the business models, policies, practices, processes, social characteristics, applications, and the methodologies that we need to actually carry it out.

I agree with this, not just in the Social CRM space but also in the xCRM/ngCRM space. When I talk to customers who are in the early stages of projects there is so much excitement about what they can do that I often spend as much time getting them to focus on the WHY. I suspect that this is the case for most consultants out there. Just because you can does NOT mean you must!.

In the Social CRM space this is a much harder decision to make. Commiting resources, both technical and human, to a social network communications strategy was considered the preserve of the “Big Boys” (I know Vodafone monitor and respond to Twitter)  but I feel that the threshold for employing a social CRM strategy is coming down quickly and the inclusion in CRM systems will accelerate this process. However, there still needs to be an understood business strategy as to why, how and the goals of such an interaction.

Most businesses fell into email as a default option and there was a default business case for it (cost saving in communications) There is no such clear bottom line for social networking, that I can see.

The customer controls the business ecosystem and the conversation, but not the business a.k.a. company a.k.a. enterprise itself. What that means is that while customers have much greater control over their destinies in how they interact with businesses, make no mistake about it, they don’t run the business, nor does the business have to concede everything to the customer.

This reminds me of a quote which I will attribute to Vlad Mazek 

The customer is always right.

Not every customer is right for us.


SCRM is an extension of CRM, not a replacement for CRM.

Amen. This harks back to the business benefit/process discussion. Fundamentally from a technical point of view this is just data and relationships within that data. It is NOT about how we implement this and which technology “stack” supports this best. It is about how does our and our clients’ business, its people and its culture cope and work with this new world.

In conclusion I agree that we need to move and segment the argument out of the “Social” space and move it back to the business driver space.

PGreenBlog sums it up so much better:

For a shorter definition of SCRM, I’d say:

"CRM is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes & social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation."


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