Monday, July 25, 2011

CRM and Social Media – Can they help in building better relationships?

This post is from Paul Pitman, solutions architect at Collier Pickard, located in United Kingdom. They are a partner of Maximizer Software, which is based in Vancouver Canada. He has us reflect on social media and their interactions with CRM. I wanted to share his thought on this subject with you.

What follows is his blog post dated June 13, 2011 that he graciously accepted that I re-post here in my blog.

You can find their blog with this link :

info.collierpickard.co.uk/blog

Let’s read his post :

Those above a certain age will no doubt recall when a “friend” was more than a contact on a social networking site. Friendships and relationships were built over many years. They involved the development of trust and acceptance, many started from shared interests or common goals. None of them required quantification or scientific analysis. The ones that stood the test of time were invariably built on honesty. They took work and effort, and they delivered a pay back, even though none was ever sought.

The stronger the relationship the greater the ability to talk about not just the good times, but also the challenging times. In our most important personal relationships, we can instantly recall salient facts from conversations dating over many years. This simple but practical demonstration of care and interest fosters the respect and trust so essential to a relationship. Equally, honesty and the security of knowing that there is no need to hide the truth – improves communication and understanding and deepens the bond of trust.

So early CRM systems took the simple approach to use a database to record data and over time all of these points became lost in the drive to “Manage” every point of contact.

Now we stand at the edge of a change in CRM with the integration of Social Networking, and the development of inbound marketing tools that seek to identify areas of common interest. As social networks spread, and the background noise of social interaction grows, people are increasingly striving for real as well as virtual relationships. Armed with the constant feed of information on our “friend” or contacts every footprint in cyberspace we are now able to learn the behaviours that will strengthen and deepen relationships. Accurate profiling is no longer limited to the questions we ask, but can include information on unbidden responses gathered from a multitude of sources.

The ability of CRM platforms to provide the context of a relationship reduces the chance of misunderstanding. Equally the ability to share the background to any decision with the interested parties supports the dialogue that builds consensus. So the integration of the social context within our client profile becomes a key to relationship development.

So the future will once again be driven by who we know, but now our ability to build relationships will be supported by CRM not audited by CRM. Let’s hope that ultimately this will improve the quality of relationships, not just the quantity.

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