Gearing Up for Second-Wave CRM: 3 Principles for Building the Right Foundation
Regardless of what plan you pursue, keep it simple. Build onto your CRM solution only after proving (or disproving) the value of a given data stream. For example, after sufficiently tracking customer actions in Facebook for an extended period of time, it may be wise to consider incorporating LinkedIn or Twitter data too. From here, outline the best practice for harvesting this data and merging it with information from other sources.
3. Don't sacrifice strategy for a fad. Plenty of businesses get caught up in the latest customer trends. Social and mobile CRM integration is just one of those "shiny new objects" catching executives’ eyes. Any business trying to stay competitive may believe it needs to go to great lengths to acquire the latest tool or accessory in customer management technology. The wiser route? Be picky and spend plenty of time researching whether a new program will still provide value one year, three years or fives years down the line.
Devise a strategy for how you'll manage a new CRM program and keep customer information fresh in the long term. Even more critically, know the adoption risks of any new system. Bringing a channel as massive as social media into the fold means being able to cope with its "always on" essence. Decide in advance if you have a team in place that can handle the business and legal implications of monitoring social media, or that can appropriately maintain these platforms.
In today's world, a decision as specific as whether to expand market-facing channels (and, in effect, your CRM) is one that requires buy-in from the C-suite, front and back offices.
Getting Closer to a Smarter Tomorrow
Innovations in CRM advancements mean nothing without the strategy and substance to support them. Your best efforts to bring on new social and mobile channels will fall flat if simple data management is still a minor detail.