February 18th, 2010 by Mike Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions, IDC

By Michael Fauscette, group vice president, software business solutions, IDC

Monday, February 15, 2010

Last week, I joined a group of social CRM thought leaders — and representatives from 14 software vendors — for a two-day social CRM summit. The event, led by noted CRM author, blogger, and consultant Paul Greenberg and BPT Partners, was held in Herndon, Va. (See the pic below, taken from the Westin Dulles during the snowstorm that kept most of us there an extra day or so.)

Westin Dulles, Snowpocalypse '10 — #SCRMsummit on February 8, 2010

Westin Dulles, Snowpocalypse '10 — #SCRMsummit on February 8, 2010

The event generated some great discussions and networking opportunities. One of the biggest takeaways for me is that SCRM is still in the bleeding-edge-new zone and some really smart people are defining and refining it on an almost-daily basis. I also believe that it’s on the edge of trendy — in other words, it’s starting to attract some people around the edges who are trying to jump on the bandwagon and yet are not “experts” in CRM at all.

I won’t go through my whole social business speech again, but I do want to re-emphasize that “social business” and “SCRM” are not equivalent to “social media” or “social networking.” They are not defined by consumer tools such as Twitter and Facebook either. Social Biz and SCRM are about changing corporate culture and about relationships, IMHO. I also am joining Paul in the decision to stop trying to define and debate the definition of SCRM…it’s time to do.

OK, enough of that — on with today’s point. There are some excellent write-ups already published (CRM Strategies Blog and Brent’s Social CRM Blog) on the summit so I won’t try to recount the whole event, but instead I think I’ll just hit on a few points that I think are worth repeating. [See those points after the jump.]

  • The customer owns her relationship with the company. CRM taught companies how to “manage” customer relationships; SCRM admits that companies cannot manage customer relationships.
  • The conversation is controlled by the customer. That’s the new meaning of “customer centricity.”
  • SCRM is an extension of traditional CRM — not a replacement. The underlying data is important, especially when tied to new sources of social data and coupled with socialytics.
  • SCRM moves the point from management to engagement.
  • The goal is customer engagement. Engagement comes from providing experiences to the customer. Create an experience for your customer, don’t just “sell” her something…. The strength is in emotions and emotional ties.
  • Web 2.0 empowered the individual. The world is becoming individual- and customer-centric; this often breaks current business logic.
  • Web 2.0 has taught us very different behaviors, expectations, and ways of interacting. Customers translate these new behaviors into the expectation of near-real-time interactions with a company. They want the experience to mimic other online interactions and want the experience to be personalized and delivered up “when, where, and how” they want.
  • The social customer wants a “self-managed’ experience and expects the company to provide the plumbing.
  • Trust-filtering is an important key to building trust. The old saying of “like me=good / not like me=bad” is even more important in today’s online world. Video could add quite a bit to the “trust factor”; visual cues are still very powerful.
  • People are the new platform. (Yes, I’ve written about it before, but it applies to all people in a social biz: customers, employees, partners, suppliers…) The focus is not on technology or process anymore, it’s on people.
  • Make the customer a part of your business (duh). Think “mom-and-pop” business from Main Street, U.S.A. — only at scale.
  • Social business is a new business model. This model incorporates a company philosophy and culture of transparency and relies on honest relationships with employees, customers, and partners.
  • Stop focusing inward. Our Web sites are designed for our companies. Customer service, despite its obvious name, is designed for the company (it is “customer” service after all). We sell what we have, not what the customer wants… This all has to change. Focus on the people.

This is only a small list of the excellent topics we discussed last week, take a look at the other posts to see more details. One post that incorporates some of the topics from last week is by Mitch Lieberman. You might also want to check out Michael Krigsman’s ZDNet blog — the post incorporates a video interview that Michael recorded last week at the #SCRMsummit with me and Forrester analyst Dr. Natalie Petouhoff, talking about SCRM and social business.

[Editors’ Note: This blogpost first appeared on Michael Fauscette’s own blog. The editors appreciate his generosity in allowing us to mirror it here.]

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