All this month our experts are talking about Social CRM, a system born from the demanding world of the modern consumer and a new age of customer expectations. Here's a quick recap of what we've got so far. 

  • Social CRM: Revolutionary or Evolutionary?. Social CRM, it's new, it's hot. Everyone is talking about it and most are jumping to implement it. But what is it really — a strategy? …a technology? And after all, is it really something new? Let's have a look.

  • The Elevator Pitch for Social CRM. The discourse on Social CRM can be likened to the Age of Enlightenment. During that time the first English coffeehouse was established, with other less formal hotspots for learning, conversation and debate.
  • Today, the same thing is unfolding across the web — change “coffeehouse” to “Twitter” and “Republic of Letters” to “social CRM.”

    Now that so many of you, the readers, are becoming interested in Social CRM, the discussions have increased ten-fold.

  • How Social CRM Improves the Customer Service Lifecycle. Even as social media and collaboration capabilities have become widely available in our private lives through tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Box.net, Twitter, Digg and so on, corporations have been somewhat slower to make these capabilities available to their employees. It would even be fair to say that while social media and collaboration capabilities are almost fully emerged for the average U.S. citizen, for the average U.S. corporate citizen these capabilities are still in the early stages of emergence.
  • But social media and collaboration tools for the enterprise are not emerging across all corporate functions at the same rate. One of the most rapidly emerging areas is social customer relationship management, or social CRM.

    Social CRM for SMBs: A Customer Centric Approach is Critical. In the midst of a still-struggling economy, SMBs are trying to do more with less, with renewed customer demand putting a strain on already limited resources. In order to ensure success, companies need to refocus their efforts and more effectively interact with their customers and prospects across all sales, marketing and customer service interactions.

    Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are unique. Although their organizations often resemble their larger corporate counterparts, SMBs must accomplish the same business goals with radically different budgets, tools and human resources.

    In today’s economic landscape, SMBs need every possible competitive advantage not only to survive but also to grow their profits. Efficiently utilizing existing resources is one of many ways SMBS can achieve this — and the opportunity to “do better” arises every day with each customer interaction. With a customer-centric approach, SMBs can maintain a strong base while nurturing prospects into new customers for a measurable impact on the bottom line.

  • Intranet Benefits for Human Resource Management. When we talk about intranets, our first thought is enterprise collaboration. But there are other scenarios in which an intranet can be greatly effective — like Human Resource Management.

  • Socially-enabled intranets deliver obvious advantages to a wide range of verticals within an organization. The latest Intranet 2.0 Global Survey from Prescient Digital Media reveals the key business drivers behind Enterprise 2.0 initiatives: knowledge management, employee collaboration, team sites, employee engagement and executive communications.

    The 2.0 Adoption Council adds some business benefit flavor to this discussion, stating that with intranets organizations are primarily looking for increased productivity (23%), better employee communication (22%) and corporate culture (16%).

    Naturally, business owners can improve decision-making, maximize employee efficiency, monitor performance, implement pervasive business processes and secure knowledge continuity. IT departments can streamline project management, while financial departments experience better business visibility and accountability with collaboration tools.

  • Social CRM and the Product Development Lifecycle. In my last article, I provided an overview of social CRM and walked through a core use case — customer service (see How Social CRM Improves the Customer Service Lifecycle). In this post, I want to turn to another core use case, one that’s a more proactive use of social CRM than the last —product development.

  • Interview: Paul Greenberg on How Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 Come Together. “CRM is the only science of business that attempts to reproduce an art of life — human interactions and relationships,” says Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light, and keynote speaker at upcoming Enterprise 2.0 (E20) Santa Clara conference.

  • Greenberg captures what many companies are feeling right now. Companies are slowly trying to make sense of the rug that was pulled out from under them. Their customers have “gone social” — the offline world is moving online.