Beginning with a definition, this chapter explores Social CRM, along with the tools and best practices that enable it. You’ll see how to create a platform for business intelligence and customer-led design. Whether you’re running a local pizza shop and want to know how to deliver a consistently excellent experience, a nonprofit seeking to drive donations and participation, or a Fortune 500 company looking to win globally, the combination of off-the-shelf tools and a bit of creative wizardry will provide a leg up.
Social CRM and Business Design
With the engagement process (covered in Chapter 8, “Engagement on the Social Web”) more carefully defined as it applies to social interactions (participation, friending, collaboration, and similar activities) the logical next step is to put these activities together to drive business processes. Simply, given a sequence of activities that lead to collaboration—in the process involving customers along with the business (and its employees)— a big part of the business benefit in adopting social technology is putting customer and employee collaboration to work.
Social CRM involves observing, measuring, and connecting what is learned via the Social Web to those places within your business where the underlying experiences that are talked about are created. As customers begin to connect, they will form and publish opinions and put forth suggestions with regard to what they like or dislike about a specific brand, product, or service. With that comes also what they’d like to see, or what could have been better. Social CRM provides an organized way to take that information through to the next step, driving process improvement, innovation, and more.
Customers and constituents have always been willing to offer up ideas for improvements and suggested new features. The difference—and driving the new challenge—is that the suggestions are now public. This means that it’s easier for you to pick up on them, and that whatever happens, others will be watching.
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