How companies are integrating social media into their CRM


#1

A variety of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have integrated social media networks in an effort to competitive. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are used as marketing and communications platforms that transcend the Internet. Do some research and find an example (current) of this digital strategy in action, and discuss. Many CRM systems are integrating social network-ing technologies to improve customer relationships. Search several social networking sites such as Face- book, Twitter, and YouTube to identify how a specific company such as Dell, Coca-Cola, or McDonald’s is using social media to interact with customers.


#2

Customer relationship management (CRM) in the social context involves the engagement with customers with the use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The role of this is to provide better insights into the interaction of customers with the brand and to also increase the engagement of customers with the brand. This provides the company to better serve their customers with tailored responses to inquiries or questions and with more personalized marketing strategy (Singh, 2015).

A business should go to the customer in the current age and time. So, the business should first identify where their customers are at and it’s pretty obvious that they’re on the internet and more specifically in the social media. This is why it’s increasingly important for any business to capitalize on this opportunity and formulate the right set of strategies to capitalize on it. Taking an example of Khalti since it’s initiation a year and half ago, they’ve used an effective digital strategy. They first started off with increasing the awareness of their brand with the effective use of social media (including their previous business operational pages). They used the same platform to now raise the interest in the product, this they did and still do through promotional offerings and referral bonuses. The business associated themselves with the parent company which has been able to build some reputation to build trust towards the platform for the customer all through effective digital and physical marketing. This then calls for an action, for this they promoted free tickets for some shows to partner with some events to be exclusive ticket distributor at a discounted price; all calling or encouraging people to use the platform. This just completes a cycle and they bring in new and exciting updates to keep the customer glued towards their service while also going on a loop to attract more and more customers.

Now, let’s take a look at Dell and how well the company is doing when it comes to using social media to interact with customers. Dell has its presence in almost all of the social media platform including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and several more. Dell has a combined total of over 18 million subscribers in all these platforms. When it comes to Facebook, they have a very interesting strategy; they have a country-specific Facebook page with a team looking after each one of them. The page name would be the same for all the country along with the people liking it, however, the username would be different. If you want to access the page of Dell, it will only take you to your base country. So, for Nepal, it’ll be Nepal based page; for France, it’ll be France based page and so on. The content differs with the country and so does the website URL and other details if they have those details to go. This helps Dell push out contents in a way that matters and make an impact. A newly released laptop mightn’t be available in all the region. So, why waste the space promoting that to a mass which won’t care about it right now as they can’t make a purchase? That is what they’re covering with country-specific Facebook profile page so that they’re pushing out content that will appeal to the respective country. They’re also using this as a way to post in a country-specific language like in French for France so that people would be able to better relate to themselves and their culture to persuade them into taking an action. The company overall seems to be pretty active in all the social media with constant update and acceptable reply time to the customers.


References

Singh, A. (2015). Drive Customer Experience for Relationship Management through Actionable Social CRM. International Journal Of Customer Relationship Marketing And Management , 6 (4), 57-76.


#3

Today companies are turning their focus from market orientation to customer orientation for increased revenue and stronger profitability. Over the-last few years, companies are shifting their strategic initiatives in an effort to reduce costs. Most comthe panies use Information system to manage whole business system very effectively and promptly so that customer can get the benefit on a real time. Most recently, as products become commodities and companies compete in n global economy, emphasis has changed to increasing revenue - getting higher margins from products and customers (Keith, 2008). Most of industries emerge and take off with each strategic initiative. For example, a supplier of business software solutions was looking for proactive ways to improve customer satisfaction. Improvements were achieved with the implementation of a Call Center solution as part of an overall Customer Relationship Management initiative - calls were responded to more efficiently and reported problems no longer fell through the .cracks. However they were still lacking a way to better inform the customer about the service they received. Empowering the customer was the answer. One method discussed was to send hard copy reports to each customer, but this was determined to be a costly and time-consuming process. With the customer base more frequently using the Internet as a mode of communication, Facebook, Twitter and Viber are most using and low cost communication tools so this was the logical choice for deploying self-service support statistics. By implementing a CRM solution on top of the Call Center solution, deployed over the Internet through different social sites, (Facebook, Twitter, Viber) this company was able to provide their customers with interactive analysis about their support statistics, outstanding issues, etc. The result: This reduced the number of incoming calls by customers seeking this information, and it improved overall customer satisfaction by empowering them with knowledge, thus improving Customer Retention. And along the way a growing need and a growing market for data analysis tools, to help companies take the raw data tracked in the transaction systems and generate information that drives decision-making. Nike has unique customer relation management process, its website is user-friendly so that customer can easily customize and order the shoe from online tools and order their shoe as per their requirement and design. Now a days we can directly communicate and get some information from all companies in 24/7 by using their website chatting buzzes. In Alibaba we can negotiate the price of product in website. So many multiband companies used technology to maintain their customer relation. In dell computer has unique CRM feature, customer can order and customize the computer as per their requirements and budget. They can order only what they need and what are their specification. They pay money for only their requirement. The other popular examples are many electronic appliance are make a videos for their customer to help to operate this. They uploaded this video on YouTube so that customer can get the information from YouTube so that they can easily operate the electronic appliances. This is unique CRM example. In university education also has a unique CRM feature, when someone wants to get the degree from distance education so university provides lecture notes, videos and information from social site. These all are the most popular CRM example in multiband and normal companies and here I clearly mention how social networks are helps CRM to increase business revenue in business.

As companies implement these solutions they begin to track valuable data about their customer and sales processes. A few examples of the data captured in a CRM system include (Reddy & Czepiel, 2009):

·Data on marketing leads, where they came from and where they are going, describing the beginnings of the customer acquisition process.

Transactions of the day-to-day activities of the sales representatives detailing how they acquire a customer.

·Data describing each social site moment, advertisement, phone call or field call interaction between support and the customer which are indicators of customer retention.

Traditionally this information was either unavailable or tracked manually, or possibly consolidated from a variety of disparate systems at the region or district level. Now we can get the data from every social network Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and Viber. To get access to this type of data in a consolidated manner, many companies took the route of a data warehouse or a data mart.

The Customer Intelligence solution is designed to provide performance and financial analysis to support the improvement of the processes fundamental to Customer Relationship Management - Customer Acquisition, Customer Empowerment, Customer Retention, and Customer Growth (Kubil & Doku, 2010). Customer Acquisition describes all processes relating to the initial acquisition of a customer, Customer Empowerment describes all processes relating to Customer self-service, Customer Retention describes all processes relating to ongoing support and service of a customer, and 'Customer Growth describes all processes relating to the selling of additional products and service to customers.

A successful implementation of a CRM solution will benefit nearly every department in a company. The obvious areas of impact are sales and marketing and customer support. Consider that it is the analysis of the information from a CRM system that provides the true value to the departments. The analysis of the CRM data will help each department focus on the key aspects of Customer Management their impact from acquisition to retention (Peterson, 2005). The analysis will allow users to track financial and operational performance for a specific customer or across all customers.

References

Keith, R. &. (2008). Customer relationship management. Industrial Marketing Management. 37 , 120-130.

Kubil, B., & Doku, A. (2010). Towards a successful customer relationship management: A conceptual framework. . African Journal of Marketing Management, 037-043, ISSN 2180-2777 .

Peterson, R. A. (2005). Relationship Marketing and the Consumer. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science , 295-297.

Reddy, S. K., & Czepiel, J. A. (2009). Measuring and Modeling the Effects of Long-term Buyer-Seller Relationships in Corporate Financial Services Markets. Journal of Business Research, 46 (3) , 235-244.


#4

There are approximately around 7.6 billion people in the world (Worldometers, 2018) and around 2.6 billion of them use social media (Statista, 2018). This number is expected to grow even more in the coming years. It is therefore not uncommon for communication and marketing to be done both for awareness campaign and business motive. Let us look into some of the examples of the use for communication and marketing.

Used for Communication

Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are used extensively these days for marketing and communication. For example Kings College uses a group page in Facebook as a platform to communicate with all the students and faculty alike. Daily class routine, announcements, important information etc. are shared though this platform. It does not cost the college anything, all the students are familiar with the setting, application and these information can be passed on in real time to students anywhere at the press of a button.

Used for Marketing

Marketing mantra is go where the people are and what better place than the social sites. "Marketing with Facebook has been hot for quite a long time but recently more and more companies have been using Twitter and other social media for marketing. Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. (Husain, Ghufran, & Chaubey,)”

Lets look at YouTube as an example. New bikes launched in Nepal and India will have users review in YouTube as a form of customer to customer marketing. A lot of people look at review of mobile phones before they purchase new phones in the segment.

Facebook is flooded with marketing of products. They pop up at the side of the page and even been used in YouTube videos where advertisement comes up before a video an you can only skip it after a few seconds.

Interaction with customers

Looking at the McDonald’s Facebook page, I saw that 14 of my friends have liked the page which was shown on the right side of the page. Scrolling down further, there was a picture of a young girl who had received scholarship from McDonald’s mentioning her name and best wishes message. This shares a positive image with the customers as it informs them about its active participation in their corporate social responsibility.

There was information of McDonald’s in Vietnam where they had an article on how time could be saved by customizing their orders. This is a form of interaction inviting the customers to come and try it out. McDonald’s France shows a Rubik’s Cube being solved. It also shows happy customers and children who have received a Rubik’s cube in their happy meal order and trying to solve it.

These are ways companies use social media for both communication, marketing and interaction with customers.


Reference

Husain, S., Ghufran, A., & Chaubey, D. (n.d.). Relevance of Social Media in Marketing and Advertising. A Monthly Peer Reviewed International Journal of Management & IT; Bhubaneswar .

Statista. (2018, July ). Number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2021 (in billions) . Retrieved from The Statistics Portal: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

Worldometers. (2018, July 20). World Population Clock. Retrieved from Worldometers: https://www.google.com.np/search?safe=active&ei=XotRW9b0FszfvgTvgJTICg&q=world+population+&oq=world+population+&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i71k1l8.2264.2264.0.2496.1.1.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0…0…1.1.64.psy-ab…1.0.0…0.n6GIKmvob2I


#5

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a method of understanding the customer behavior through intense communication to improve the organizational performance which is represented through customer acquisition, customer retention and increased customer loyalty. It can be defined as an activity that focuses on improving organizational efficiency and customer knowledge management by increasing the effectiveness of the company decisions related to customers (Soliman , 2011). It consists of technologies and processes used by an organization for relationship building with existing as well as potential customers with the objectives of increasing revenue and profitability through improved customer retention. It supports the business strategy of building long-term profitable relationship with customers (Ling & Yen, 2011) .

With the increasing use of social media, a lot of companies are using it as a medium to promote their products and get closer with customers. The companies are facilitating collaborative social experiences and dialogues the customers value through social media which is helping in creating positive image of the organization amongst the customers. But it is important to note that CRM using social media is not just about creating a web page. It is about creating a space where the customers can freely interact with the company, express their concerns, queries, positive experiences or dissatisfaction associated with the company and ensuring that their issues are addressed promptly. It will give customers the feeling that they are interacting with real people not the faceless companies.

Starbucks is one of the companies that is effectively using social media for CRM activities. It integrates, mixes and combines multi-channel functionalities with different focuses together with unified channels of communication. The official Facebook page of Starbucks has 37 million likes. If we go through the page, we can see that most of the post features the ideas and experiences of the customers visiting different outlets of Starbucks. Starbucks replies to almost every comments on its Facebook posts that has helped it to gain the confidence of customers. The use of Facebook for addressing the Starbucks Arrest is really commendable that has helped it in maintaining its image and reputation. There is also option for directly messaging the organization and the messages are replied very quickly. The YouTube channel of Starbucks has around two lakhs subscribers. The YouTube videos make the customers feel intimate and related to brand. They are engaging as well as communicating.

Another brand that is using social media for its benefit is Coca-Cola. It has 108 million likes on Facebook. The separate Facebook and twitter feeds for each of the local markets with dedicated pages for different products and sub-brands has helped it communicate it the people using this soft drink in 200 countries. On visiting the official pages of Coca-Cola, we can figure out that it responds to huge mentions everyday including complains, follow requests, compliments and general chit-chat. Lately, most of the posts were related with world cup that helps it connects with the customers even more. The page is being used for communication purpose rather than pushing marketing campaigns that is working well for the company.

Thus the need of today is use of social media for CRM as well as other activities of a company because the customers want easy and quick way to communicate with the brands whenever and wherever they want. But the social media of the company should be very responsive to obtain the CRM objectives.

References

Ling, R., & Yen, D. C. (2011). Customer Relationship Management: An Analysis Framework and Implementation Strategies. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 41 (3), 82-97. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08874417.2001.11647013

Soliman , H. S. (2011, June). Customer Relationship Management and Its Relationship to the Marketing Performance. International Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 2 (10), 166-184.


#6

If we see the business some decades ago, then there would be a product of the company and its massive demand. In order to fulfil the demand of customer the firm would have high level of production and its supply. This is the reason only because of the few numbers of businesses, high scale of customer demand and few supply of that product. At that time, the availability of product means a lot for the customer rather they questioned for their quality, features, and offers etc. But, the business model has changing the way to business. Today, the customers have numbers of options to that particular product. They can switch to any of their options as per their choices. This has result to hard time for the business firm. If the firm do not concern for the customer satisfaction then there would be no more customer loyalty to the firm. So far, to get the details of customer satisfaction the system called customer relationship management (CRM) is helping for business firm. Wallace (2015), in their book Introduction to information systems, CRM consists of the technologies and processes an organization uses to build relationships with its current and prospective customers. Some common objectives are improving customer retention, improving profitability, growing revenue, and listening to customers.

CRM systems are integrating social networking technologies

This CRM has result for effective outcome through the social media engagement; this has affects the house’s core areas (i.e., acquisition, retention, and termination) and supporting business areas (i.e., people, IT, performance evaluation, metrics and overall marketing strategy) (Malthouse, Haenlein, Skiera, Wege, & Zhang, 2013). Social media (likes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) is data focused that allows us to manage, schedule, create, and monitor posts. It offers powerful real-time publishing and engagement platform for content marketers, with comprehensive content performance by social network and time frame. These measures how content is performing (either in real-time or past performance) and view the analytics by post, subgroup, label, campaign, or particular target.

Social media platforms that Dell uses are Twitter, Facebook etc.

        Based on the customer engagement on these platforms, Dell develops various strategies and processes that help it build customer loyalty. This social media can effectively facilitate and support collaborative community, and introduce the concept of expressive individuality (Weinberg, de Ruyter, Dellarocas, Buck, & Keeling, 2013). Today, Dell uses Twitter to accomplish four things: inform, sell, engage and support. When Dell realized that many of its Twitter followers were going to the site to voice their customer support issues, it launched Dell Cares, a website designed to proactively reach out to consumers to help them resolve their problems. In the same way, Dell has launched support widgets and apps on its Facebook page designed to allow customers to reach out to Dell Support from within Facebook. To sum up, Dell uses their social accounts on a large scale to increase brand equity, and on a smaller scale, tending to unique and customized needs. When both methods (social media presence and its integration to CRM) are used side by side, it results in a successful and powerful social strategy.

References

Malthouse, E. C., Haenlein, M., Skiera, B., Wege, E., & Zhang, M. (2013). Managing customer relationships in the social media era: Introducing the social CRM house. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27 (4), 270-280.

Wallace, P. (2015). Introduction to information systems . Pearson Higher Ed.

Weinberg, B. D., de Ruyter, K., Dellarocas, C., Buck, M., & Keeling, D. I. (2013). Destination social business: Exploring an organization’s journey with social media, collaborative community and expressive individuality. Journal of interactive marketing, 27 (4), 299-310.