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November 3, 2009

Social Media – Feedback is essential and an important ingredient of SCRM. Use it to benefit

Scene-1
A tweet by client9 - @no1insocialmedia | thanks for the demo today. Would love it if the community creation in the tool could latch on to the private cloud.

Scene-2
Our Mike, Matt and John(the CIO) are in a meeting to pore over tomorrow’s sales pitches.
Matt:
John, Mike was mentioning about some feedback he received on Twitter today from our client from the coast side, about cloud integration capability.

Scene-3/Act1  John: Yeah, Matt lets put it on our to-do list anyways the product management has a long list.

Scene-3/Act2  John: Great Mikey! Matt, let’s use this feedback and see if we can prioritize this one as client9 has been a good advocate of our business. Lets use this feedback effectively as otherwise we need to request such ones. It also costs you see.

Pretty sure you would derive the consequences of Act1 and Act2. Social media in the form of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Plurk, Linkedin, The’Wave’ (no specific mention needed eh?) and a host of others out there, are growing exponentially. When I say exponential, it is in terms of usage, brand building, service, communication, chatter (of course!), promotion, visibility on this bandwagon.(Feel free to add back others that I have missed in the comments and I will compile an useful list) Numerous tools are available out there which help you analyze, say for example, your twitter stats. You have many tools/vendors out there who have full blown social media offerings like HelpStream. All of them allow us to listen, converse, share, reply etc. We have communities that can be hosted on your cloud to derive benefits amongst people with common interests/talk.

So what, I use social media too! Yeah, but it is important to recognize at the end of the day that Social media is a conversation between two people and this will be effective when you ‘listen’ more and use and analyze any feedback. As in any closed loop circuit, w/o a feedback system the circuit cannot be improved or expected to handle faults. So is Social Media, where ‘people’ who are the lifeline need to be heard via a feedback mechanism and voluntary feedback needs to be acted upon. As social media moves forward to be integrated with other systems (the service cloud 2 of SFDC is an example) it is important to get and analyze this feedback to set right/correct minor/major ‘faults’ in your business system. Why? Every small/minor feedback acted upon with diligence and prompt will go a long way in the realm of social media to fuel the exponential growth I mentioned initially and will also add on to the brand image and equity.

How effective this feedback system can be leveraged is purely based on the custom business needs. But, act on the feedback! There is no one size fits all and there is no magic wand that Harry Potter or Dumbledore can wave to just ‘plug-in’ a feedback system to the mainstream app. Customization would be essential and at the same time the buy-in and strategy of social media in that business line is of relevance. As the ecosystem evolves with multiple apps and systems at each pillar of the enterprise – ERP, SCM,CRM – the analysis and use of feedback will go a long way and make a difference to the bottom lines of business.

This, as the next step can follow the measurement of SCRM, I spoke in my last post here, which can be effectively leveraged. How Feedback can be taken up –polls, survey and many other ways exist, but heed to the need and you benefit from it. The need for this feedback to be executed strategically is also of prime importance as competitors would be on the watch to gather the musings behind these. More on how to measure feedback later.

What do you feel about the element of feedback in SCRM? Have you implemented SCRM and used feedback effectively? Any comments and POV’s are more than welcome and are much appreciated.