Social CRM Key Takeaways from DGS4

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Thank you to SADA Systems for sponsoring this panel at the Digital Growth Summit.

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Watch a replay of the Social CRM Panelists at Digital Growth Summit:

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Jay Symonds, Moderator, Amazon - Greg Gant, SADA Systems - Narine Galstian, SADA Systems - Dean Bethke, Microsoft


Social CRM vs traditional CRM

What is the difference between social CRM and what we think of as typical CRM?

With social CRM you are trying to make an engagement happen before the transaction even occurs. - @NGalstian

In traditional CRM form, you really are taking leads in and taking them through the sales funnel towards some sort of transaction. Your sales people are really monitoring those customers and maybe there is an upsell or cross-sell opportunity, but that is really where it stops in traditional CRM. With social CRM, you really try to get a conversation going. You are trying to make an engagement happen with your prospects before the transaction even occurs. That might take a little longer, to get that transaction done, but what we have found is that it produces much more loyal, higher engaging sales in the end because you have built that relationship and trust and capability over time. - Narine Galstian

CRM allows you to stay connected to your customers and your brand and be very proactive with your data. - @GregGee03

For us, CRM is all about having an organizational eye on customer engagement. We want our marketers and salespeople to all be connected and engaged with our customers. The social piece of that allows us to be very proactive and to know what our brand representation is. So when I am implementing CRM for a customer whether it is a traditional retail brand who is very conscious of what they are doing or working with non-traditional senses such as chemical companies who want to know about brands that they sell their products to, etc., implementing CRM for these groups allows them to stay connected to their customers and their brands and be very proactive with their data.- Greg Gant

Traditional CRM talks about sales, when social CRM is more about engaging your customers. - Dean Bethke

Traditional CRM talks about sales and is about selling something. There is a next step, which is customer engagement where you are marketing and filling the top of that funnel, going through active sales cycles and managing sales cycles, closing the business and after the business is closed you will serve that customer. Then you get into customer service, customer service workloads, customer service engagement and that can be customer service over the phone, over the web, through social channels and so it is not just customer service within social channels, but every one of those activities throughout an organization has a social tie-in. They all have social strategies, the question is whether or not they are cohesive social strategies where everyone is working together and everyone can see and act on the same information. - Dean Bethke


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Who manages Social CRM?

In most cases, sales handles the function of a traditional CRM but PR handles the function of a social CRM. In an ideal world these would be together, do you believe these can be together?

Things are going to be very connected so that we can have a 360-degree view of the customer. - @GregGee03

Part of what we try to implement is this very process. One customer, multi-channel outreach, so you might have PR or now we are seeing social managers and that is all they do. They work within a social media center that allows them to outreach, have inbound strategies, etc. But these people are going to be related to the very same clients that our salesperson works with. So, when our sales person is sitting in the parking lot and about to go into a meeting, he can pull out his device and see that there was so much social activity and this customer has bragged about our products or trashed our products. I think that is where we are going. Things are going to be very connected so that we can paint a better picture, a 360-degree view of the customer. - Greg Gant

You don’t have to solve the problem immediately, but you have to engage with the customer immediately. - @NGalstian

We are working to implement this process and I think it will become more integrated as time goes on. If someone tweets a negative or positive sentiment, there is an immediate notification in our company. An alert that happens so that both marketing and social is involved, and the sales team associated with that specific customer is involved. Then the support team comes in as well, so if it is a negative type of sentiment, there is a service ticket automatically created from that Twitter post. It moves quickly, so the responsiveness is really, really important when you have a CRM piece. Responsiveness is key. If you let that tweet or that post go and it is an urgent issue for that customer, then you are basically taking a risk at thousands of other eyeballs seeing that. Your credibility if you are not immediately jumping into that conversation and engaging with that customer is just going to go down and so will all the retweets, favorites, followers, etc. People will be thinking, "Oh, they don't have really great service." You don't have to solve the problem immediately, but you have to engage with the customer immediately and say, "We're looking into it. We will get back to you right away." - Narine Galstian


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Social CRM best practices

What are the best practices for building a robust social CRM?

There're a lot of noise on social platforms and you need to qualify the noise and take action. - @GregGee03

First, you need the tool to be the ears on the pipeline, to listen in and collect all of the data that is on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Then you have to analyze that data and finally, you have to take action on the social activity. There is going to be a lot of noise on these platforms and you have to be able to qualify the noise and take action. You either need to route it to a support or service queue or to a sales team to see the lead possibility, but whatever it might be that is where time has to be spent in the organization to determine what that methodology looks like. That is where customers sometimes fight me and they say, "Where is the value? Won't we just get a bunch of noise?" Well, you can take action now. There are tools out there that will allow you to take action on those social insights and that is where the real value is at. And those options are only going to increase when the traditional CRM and social CRM can overlap so that sales can see what the overall aggregate social score is for customers before they interact with them. They will have a little more knowledge and be better prepared for their sales calls. - Greg Gant

Pick a platform that has already integrated solutions. That really eases the pain of a transition. - @NGalstian

A platform is really important. You have to pick a platform that is the right fit for your company. We realized, when we were picking and using different CRMs, that we had to pick a different add-on for this or a plugin to do this and it became this huge monster each time to handle. I would recommend picking a platform that has integrated solutions already because that really eases the pain of a transition. We use Microsoft CRM Dynamics online so that they have a social listening tool already built into it that works well for us. We also use HubSpot in their marketing tools and that is integrated into their marketing tools online so we are able to have a certain scoring system that fits right into our marketing. For example, our customers have to do six things to score higher and it is important to be able to score your customers. You need to be able to also have an open discussion internally with your sales, with your support, with your social and marketing teams about how to use those tools effectively. You have to make sure that you have a team that can handle the CRM because if your customers still have to wait 48 hours for a response then what good is it to have this impressive CRM platform? You need your salespeople to watch the account, to pay attention to the alerts, because if they don't then they are missing their opportunity and leaving that sale on the table. - Narine Galstian

Marketing teams need to be involved with sales teams. They also need to agree on goals & strategies. - Dean Bethke

You need to get things working well from an internal perspective because you need your teams to coordinate and work together to ensure that they agree on the strategies and the goals. Marketing teams need to be involved with sales teams, etc. Some things just feel right such as identifying and acting upon negative or positive incidents, tweets, or posts, but there are other things that are not so clear and your teams need to work together to develop a strategy that works. A marketing campaign will be devised around a certain goal such as trying to devise a certain number of leads while the sales and customer service department also needs to be involved in those leads and have goals that coincide with the marketing team's goals. - Dean Bethke


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Social CRM Tools

What social CRM tools are out there? What have you found helpful and have found offered great value?

It’s all about being able to integrate what you choose with what you use on a daily basis. - @GregGee03

Radian6 by ExactTarget, they have been the industry leader for a long time. The social engagement tool by Microsoft is moving up and there is probably not a firm that is pumping more money into their product than Microsoft is right now. Sage has some great products and ExactTarget has a whole suite of products that works. It's all about being able to integrate what you choose with what you use on a daily basis. That is the biggest mistake that I see all the time. People hire a third company that then sends them the data via email and it just isn't plugged in or connected so it has limited value. Our sales team isn't getting the full pulse of the customer and we can't use the data effectively. An integrated solution is a must. You need to be able to attach things to real leads, real customers, real products. - Greg Gant

With social CRM, you are really empowering your customers to create a conversation. - @NGalstian

Putting tools together helps you not only manage things better, but it also helps you see the scale that you are dealing with. You think that maybe your customers are wanting one thing but then you start monitoring it and you realize that you had it wrong. You should be using different keywords and hashtags that match what the customers are using and talking about. With social CRM, you are really empowering your customers to create that conversation. You aren't just pushing it on to them and hoping one of them talks back to you. It's about having them engage in that conversation and lead that conversation so once you figure out what they want and how they are going to drive that conversation then you start to engage with them better. For us, it's Microsoft CRM online but there are other great tools such as Radian6 and Salesforce among others. If you already have a CRM system in place then you have to see how you can bring it together with the social listening portion. Since internal changes can be difficult so you really want to make sure that you have the support of your sales team, your support teams, and make sure that you are offering them valuable tools that help them because otherwise they will resist the change internally. - Narine Galstian


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Making smart decisions with social CRM

Now that we have set up the CRM system, how do we look at everything and make smarter decisions based on what we have set up?

Social CRM Panel Digital Growth Summit Within Microsoft, you would find these search terms whether it is a product or your company name, and the tool is going to start putting the ears on the ground and listening for those terms. The machine then looks for those terms whether it is a positive tweet or a negative tweet and then when it brings that in, it helps you analyze what has been said. It helps to qualify who is saying what things because you get so much information at once. For us, we have a social influencer score that says, "Okay, this guy has 500,000 followers so it's really important that we attend to this guy right away" and we have tools that say, now we have the influencer and the score so what do we want to do about it. There is not a lot of customization on the tools that we use so we set our parameters and then turn the dashboard on and the screen is populated with data. - Greg Gant

Once you set up your CRM, you will get a ton of data so you don’t want to sift through that yourself. - Dean Bethke

Once you set up your CRM, you have machine learning and so it's monitoring these things for you and you will get a ton of data so you don't want to sift through that yourself. It's going to be hard to find what you need if you have people sifting through these things on their own, so you want to be able to identify the things that you want to act upon and make sure that the machine can monitor these things for you. - Dean Bethke


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When to start with social CRM

Is there a "too early" when it comes to implementing this strategy?

I would say no. We have a landscaping company in Northern California where they have fifty people and they use it heavily. We have a large company here in LA that is monitoring more than 10 million tweets a day so it can be all sizes. I think that brand recognition, loyalty, and integrity are not things that anyone should be ignoring. - Greg Gant

Set the right platforms in place because it makes it so much easier to then build your following. - @NGalstian

You also want to set the right foundation from the very beginning. If you are a 10 person company, those companies can do 10 million dollars in sales so you want to be able to set that foundation right from the beginning. Set the right platforms in place because it makes it so much easier to then build your following and build your customer engagement rather than waiting until you are a 500 person company and then saying, "Oh, we need to go back now and integrate these tools." - Narine Galstian

Bad reviews and good reviews make their way online no matter what size the company is. - Dean Bethke

Social monitoring on the web can really help improve a business so many times it isn't that it's too early, it is that it is too late. Bad reviews and good reviews make their way online no matter what size the company is. I once asked the VP of Sales of a company with nearly a billion dollars of revenue, "What is your average deal rating review?" They looked at me blankly. I said, "You know it's like a 1.5." They said, "Oh, I didn't know that." It's important to start monitoring your social activity right away. - Dean Bethke


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Social CRM case studies and examples

Can you share any case studies from companies that are doing really well and really nailing it in this social CRM space?

One big one for us is that we have a customer of ours that really wants to understand how well or how terrible a major motion picture is going to do. So for years, for decades, they did this through traditional screening, interviews, etc. They came to us and wanted us to use social data to help them look at these films. It started really as just a fun project, but they were actually able to take the data and sentiment scores that they were getting to prospect the value of the movie. For them, it's everything right up to the release day and they can now use the dynamics score to accurately predict the way that a movie will perform based on the social sentiment score. They also are now using these scores to see what types of movies that they should make. We also have a traditional example where we worked with a sports team where they implemented the CRM for their ticket sales, season tickets, boxes, etc. - Greg Gant

Earlier today, I was looking at Microsoft Xbox because it has the Guinness World Record for the most responsive brand. Several years ago, they responded to over 5,000 tweets within on average, 2 minutes and 46 seconds each. That is really responsive so whether it is a good or bad experience playing online, it's really great to be able to be responsive because customers now know that the company is really listening to their experiences. - Dean Bethke

We do a lot of events and we use FedEX as I'm sure that a lot of people do for their shipping. We had a package go missing so I took to Twitter that my package had gone missing and I was very upset because it didn't make it to the show in time for set-up. Not even a minute after I posted, I had an immediate clear response back that my account manager was going to call me and the account manager called me within three minutes, credited my account, found my shipment and as upset as I was then I was really impressed later on with the way that the situation was handled. Nobody wants to wait on a customer support line to address an issue so they get frustrated and take to Twitter or Yelp. - Narine Galstian


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Social CRM tips

What is the danger for a company that is not doing this? That does not have social listening tools in place?

Make sure that you have a good reputation online and CRM is a tool that allows you to do that well. - @GregGee03

It's horrible. There many different people around the world using these social platforms, I believe Facebook had a report that stated on average now they have 1 billion users a day. That is 1/7th of the planet using Facebook. That is a huge exposure and it's a liability for brands, but it is also an opportunity. If you can take advantage of the opportunity and minimize the liability by mitigating risk, I think it is tremendously important. - Narine Galstian

Our customers are doing research about our brand before they pick up the phone and call us. No matter what brand you are in, someone is going to know who you are and is looking at your social presence long before you hear from them. You need to make sure that you have a good reputation online and CRM is a tool that can allow you to do that really well. - Greg Gant


How are you able to use this data to affect your marketing strategy going forward?

It used to be separate or an afterthought, but now this data is an integrated part of our overall marketing strategy. You can't really separate the two now, they go hand-in-hand and are connected to what the objectives are from a sales perspective. You want to be able to really assess where you are at and where you want to go. Sometimes the thought is, "Well, that's just social. That's all branding. It doesn't translate into business." People still think that, but it does translate into business. For us, it's really important to keep those customers and keep the engagements coming. Some of our customers are big brands so we want them talking about us as well, it is really important for the sales teams to understand that this is an integrated part of the social. Now we do long-term planning around this as well so if we need to add additional resources, we plan for that so that we have the right resources in place so that we can react faster. We want to know where our customers are hanging out so that even if we can't talk with them right now, we know that we want to talk with them in the future and we are aware of what is going on. - Narine Galstian

Sales teams are just as accountable as marketing and customer service teams. - Dean Bethke

In a sales organization, it is about accountability as well. Sales teams need to work with marketing and they will ask "How did the campaign work for you? Where did the investment go? What was the result?" Historically, marketing had a lot of soft metrics associated with determining the success so to be able to leverage the metrics that are coming through these solutions that feed this data is great for the stakeholders in the business. Sales teams are just as accountable as marketing and customer service teams. You can look to see if sales are closing the leads and if marketing is providing the leads and if the customer service team is meeting customers' needs. You can measure these things in a much more effective way than you could in the past. - Dean Bethke


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Social CRM time commitment

How much time does it take to manage the social listening and social CRM?

This is where the tool that you use is really important because you want the tool to do the work for you, to go through the sentiments and rate them, but you still have to decide what your scoring process is and how to work with your alerts on the dashboard. If you implement the right tool, it doesn't actually take a lot of time from the marketing and social aspect of things. Otherwise, there is a lot of data out there and you can spend a lot of time doing it on your own, but from a time perspective, it's not that much. However, if you are integrating your customer support into that process then you need the personnel in place to handle the tickets as they come in. - Narine Galstian

Any platform that you choose will allow you to build workflows that say, "Hey, if it's negative and it is in the Midwest region then it needs to go to this person right away" and then you respond within an hour and a half or a day, whatever it may be. That is really what you are going to get when you choose the right tool. If you have a small shop and you can't dedicate a lot of time, then this is the right way to start. - Greg Gant

You may already have a customer support or customer service function that you can leverage and if you have a support issue that comes in on the phones, then pop it into a queue. If they have it coming on their website, it pops into the queue. And if there is some social interaction that you want to take action on, that’s going to come into the queue. So as long as everyone is trained to cross those channels it can work. - Dean Bethke


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Negative feedback on social CRM

In terms of dealing with negative feedback, what do you do about feedback that can't be solved because it is simply a negative feedback response that is subjective? What strategies do you use?

The idea behind social CRM is to try to engage with the people who are important to you. - @NGalstian

You really have to identify who you want to engage with, who is important, otherwise the rest is just noise. The idea behind social CRM is not that you are going to address every single sentiment that is out there but about trying to engage with the people who are important to you. Out of the 500 tweets that happened, maybe it's only five that are really important for you. You have to pick and choose. That's where the scoring component can really help you with that. You can then address those positive and negative comments that matter most to you and that will trickle to the other people. You never want to battle anyone on social. Try to take that conversation offline, that is really the key. You can say, "I really appreciate your feedback and I would love to talk to you about it. Please message me." Take that conversation offline. - Narine Galstian

The more interaction that you have with the compliments, the further down the list the haters will go. - Dean Bethke

This is where the influencer score comes into play a lot because it tells you how much influence the people who are saying things actually have. How many followers do they have and how much engagement do they get on their pages. If you can take those scores and aggregate those as well then you can build an index, which can help shape your strategy. - Greg Gant

The more interaction that you have with the compliments, the further down the list the haters will go. - Dean Bethke


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Future of social CRM

Where do we see social CRM going in the next three years? Where is it going?

The roadmap really shows that it is not going to be two separate things. Microsoft is making this one platform now where CRM is just going to be plugged in on the social channel with LinkedIn or Yelp or whatever it is. That is just going to be part of the process of implementing a CRM. The added value of social insights will be visible from the start. - Greg Gant

It's also more channels as well. Now we have cameras on shelves where if someone stands in front of the shelf and the product, picks it up, puts it down, etc. for more than 30 seconds then a message is popping up for sales staff to come assist. We know that this person is interested and we want to be available. - Dean Bethke

Social media is not about followers or retweets. It’s about the conversations that your customers have. - @NGalstian

Even within the next year, you are going to start seeing that a lot more conversations that used to come to you directly are going to social and if you are not listening then you are going to miss that and it's really going to affect your brand. Don't see social as how many fans or followers or retweets that you have because it's really about the conversations that your customers are having and how you can insert yourself into those conversations to help and support. You want to be an advisor or a salesperson to these people and be able to assist them. - Narine Galstian

We are going to see social insight being used outside of the norm where they monitor all of their products and based on feedback about their products, that shapes what they choose to do in the future. - Greg Gant


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Social CRM and predictive analytics

What about using social CRM from a predictive standpoint and from a marketing standpoint? What is the best way to use social listening and social CRM in this way?

I think the future will hold predictive analytics with social insight. - @GregGee03

I think the future will hold predictive analytics with social insight. - Greg Gant

A lot of social campaigns now are bringing groups together and you want to be able to have a conversation with a group of your followers whether it is a specific industry or specific title, etc. So you want to group the audience so that the conversation that you are having is relevant for your followers. You want them to follow that so you can create campaigns where you set a time for that conversation to happen and you notify your group of people saying, "We are going to be talking about this and we would love your feedback on that." Or you can create a hashtag and drive that to be used so you can monitor it. That has been around, but what we have been missing is how are you going to tie that back into your CRM system so that you can track the history of those conversations and be able to effectively monitor them. - Narine Galstian

How can we use social CRM to grow businesses and make more money?

Be proactive with identifying social champions for your brand and start a conversation with them. - @GregGee03

We also see social champions for our brand and it allows us to connect with them. Rather than picking up the phone, we can connect with them and encourage them. We can see and be proactive with identifying champions and starting conversations with them. - Greg Gant

You can easily put together a group of people that are influencers for your brand and provide them with resources and invite them to campaigns, events, etc. Invite people early on to new launches and allow them to engage with you in a more connected way. Feed into the positive feedback and the positive sentiment. Reward them for that. - Narine Galstian

You can win a customer by honestly answering the question that people have about your brand. – Dean Bethke

Sometimes people have genuine questions and they want advice from your brand. If you can jump on that question and answer honestly then you can potentially win a customer. Providing that pre-sales engagement along with the post-sales service. - Dean Bethke [su_spacer size="1"]


Using social CRM to monitor competitors

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