I am left amazed at the level and detail of information those guys offer. As you know, today the social business environment is far beyond listening. There is a big shift in the past 1-2 years between online customer management systems and social media listening and engagement. After all, social business is about using social technologies to lower the barriers between company and customer.
The Altimeter Group has released a new report on Social CRM, this report analysis is different as all their others. The report (PDF 22 pages) is free to download, read and share, which reflects the socialization of information and the spirit of social media.
After months of study and interviews with over 100 organizations, Altimeter Group identified 18 use cases for Social CRM to help businesses assess, adapt, and create new programs and processes to socialize their brands.
As the report notes in the beginning:
Rapid adoption of social networking enables users to connect with individuals and communities who share mutual interests, increasingly leaving organizations out of the conversation.
Simply hiring more people to keep up with social marketing, sales, and support will not be sufficient, as consumers and their new channels will always outnumber employees. As a result, companies need an organized approach using enterprise software that connects business units to the social web – giving them the opportunity to respond in near-real time, and in a coordinated fashion.
And they’re totally right.
As the report notes, Social CRM does not replace existing CRM efforts, it complements it with an outbound extension to connect with the very social beacons that shape and steer perception – those previously untouched with inbound only infrastructures.
And as the “Godfather of CRM,” Paul Greenberg notes, “We’ve moved from the transaction to the interaction with customers, though we haven’t eliminated the transaction – or the data associated with it … Social CRM focuses on engaging the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment. It’s (i.e. Social CRM is) the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.”