Presently, technology has amplified the voice of the customer and has empowered them to take control of the relationship and the conversations.
It’s clear that customers are sharing more about themselves online (this is an opportunity for companies to better understand their needs), so companies face a challenge in terms of collecting all that information from various social channels for ultimately analise that information, find insights and create responses to the market that will create more business opportunities.
Companies looking to implement a social media strategy and build long-term relationships, must integrate social into sales, marketing, communication and service; they have to be efficient by turning content into conversations.
The IBM Institute for Business Value, has published From Social Media to Social CRM: What customers want presenting good and valuable information about the social media customer.
Today, Social Media is considered as a hub of customer activity, but the main question IBM wants to answer is: are customers and businesses in sync with each other’s expectations?
Objectives of social media and CRM:
- Social media is ultimately about interacting with others with an expectation of getting something in return
- CRM manages customer relationships as a means for extracting the greatest value from customers over the lifetime of the relationship
The IBM Institute for Business Value found the following:
- Despite the astounding escalation of social media adoption, only a very small percentage of consumers engages regularly by responding to posts and authoring their own content.
- More than half of consumers don’t even consider engaging with businesses via social sites. For them, social media and social networking are about personal connections with friends and family.
- In exchange for their time, endorsement and personal data, consumers expect something tangible. But businesses rank getting discounts and purchasing as the least likely reasons consumers interact with them.
Following these findings, is also very interesting to have a look at these graphics:
What does all this mean for business?, they need to be aware that less than half their customer base is likely to interact with them in a social media environment.
Businesses are more likely to think consumers are interested in interacting with them to feel part of a community, businesses overestimate consumers’ desire to engage with them to feel connected to their brand.
Consumers are willing to interact with businesses if they believe it is to their benefit, if they are value for more than the financial transaction, they want to be listened to and for companies to act on what they hear, feel they can trust the company and decide if social media is the right channel to use to get the value they seek.
Top social media challenges for businesses
- Recognise social media is a game changer
- Make the customer experience seamless across social media and other channels
- Start thinking like a customer, the more you know your target audience the better
- If you aren’t sure what customers value, ask them, iterate and create the best value proposition for each buyer persona
- To achieve business goals (increased revenue, cost reduction or efficiencies)
- Inform, educate, engage and shape conversations