Social Media is changing the way businesses work- Are you noticing?

October 24, 2011

Is Social Media changing the way we do business? Our CRM Analysts C. Surya and Deepak Choudhury have done a very interesting analysis:

Social media has not only changed the way people communicate. It has changed the way customers look at brands. Customer service is no longer about after-sales support.  It means collaborating with your customers and prospects at every stage of product/service creation, delivery and support. Brands can’t expect customers to write to them or call them with their suggestions and grievances. You need to be where your customers are and interact with them and make them feel at home.

According to Social CRM Expert Harish Kotadia:

“Levels of customer engagement will determine mindshare and market-share for a brand. Only those companies that effectively engage their customers and prospects will emerge as winners and those that are not good in customer engagement will lose market share. Unlike in industrial age, not involving customers during product/service creation and delivery, and very limited after-sale support via phone is not going to work anymore. Companies need to use social media channels and collaborate with their customers at every step of product or service creation and delivery.

To survive and grow in the age of social media, companies will have to re-engineer their product design, manufacturing, delivery and support processes, and not just their marketing processes, in order to involve customers at every stage of product/service creation and delivery.

Companies that succeed in involving customers at every step of product/service creation, delivery and support will thrive and grow. Rest will become history. Question is how many senior executives realize the challenge that is in front of them and are prepared to make this transition?”

Take a scenario in the CRM domain. Two clients buy CRM systems and implement it from 2 different vendors.

Vendor 1 completes the project as per specifications, within the budget and delivers it on time and then vanishes.

Vendor 2 does all that and then helps the client get the best out of the new CRM system-

  • Offers training to help them use the system in the best possible way
  • Clearly sets expectations about the system
  • Creates relevant customizations for various departments
  • Offers extended support
  • Helps them change their business process to optimize the usage of CRM
  • Ensures that the customer gets all the possible benefits from the system

It’s clear that customers will go for Vendor 2 in today’s world. Customers look for relations more than transactional business offers from vendors. Social media has changed the way businesses work. Your customer interactions will make the difference from being a profitable company to being a great company.

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