I had to let some time go by between the latest definition controversy and this post so I could say that this is not about definitions. Those are done.
This is about how a business undertakes the road to becoming a social business while dealing with customers (fine, how does a business embrace SCRM).
In putting this together I tried different approaches. Tried to make it look like a roadmap, but there were not clear point-to-point directions to take as the assumption would be that all companies start from the same point – and we all know that is nowhere near the case. I tried to take it as a straight road with a set of rond-points for each sub-strategy, but that did not work either as the feeding roads into each rond-point were very complicated and not all organizations needed them all. I finally settled on a pyramid shape. I like pyramids because they build on the previous layer to grow. And that is the way to build your SCRM strategy: you have to have one layer set before you can move to the next one.
Each layer in this pyramid represent a sub-strategy you have to have set before moving to the next one. If you don’t have the base layer strategy documented, you are not going to be able to move to the next one. Figure 1 shows the different sub-strategies an organization must create to end up with a SCRM strategy. There are four sub-strategies (from the bottom up): communities, channels, rules, and functional (in the next four days we will explore each one in more detail):
What is that? The chart is wrong? Well, I guess you could say that… but it is not. You do start crafting your SCRM strategy from the top and progress slowly towards the bottom. Yes, it sounds crazy – but just enough that it might work.
The inclination today for everybody who is trying to implement SCRM is to start with a — tool. Communities. Twitter. Blogs. Wikis. Let’s deploy them, monitor and listen, see what we can gather and then we can decide whether it is for us or not. Guess what? you don’t have that luxury. You have to embrace the social business model because your customers, your competitors, your partners – heck, your whole world is moving in that direction. Sure, you can try a channel or two and see what happens – but that is not going to get your an iota closer to understanding how your business becomes social as it relates to your clients. Remember the “twittable” definition Paul Greenberg set for Social CRM?
You have to embrace becoming social, as it is your company’s response to your customers becoming social. So, as long as you HAVE TO do it, might as well do it right – from the business perspective. Start from the functions that your business performs with customers, figure out the rules you are going to follow, determine the best channels for each, and finally figure out which communities to deploy on. If you have more questions than answers at this time, no worries – we will cover in painful detail each layer as we move along, and there are more posts coming (heck, it might even turn into an e-book later if I have the time).
OK, let’s assume you have that under control (somewhat) and are already working on preparing the SCRM strategy. Now it comes time to deploy it in your organization. Where is the best place to put it? Glad you ask… that was last week’s insomnia.
Since SCRM represents the response to your customer’s control of the conversation, I am going to imagine that you want to get some value out of having those conversations. After all, the true value of SCRM is not listening or engaging, is ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS.
I will say that again, the ONLY value that deploying SCRM brings to your organization is actionable insights derived from the feedback your customers provide and actions you observe. So, how do you create actionable insights? You use the analytical tools that come with either Social Monitoring or Social Analytics tools, or you use the ones you already have deployed in your organization.
So, let’s say you already captured and deciphered some actionable insights – what do you do with those? This is where the concept of social business becomes critical. If you remember, we defined SCRM as the customer-facing operations of your business and Enterprise 2.0 as the internal operations. The actionable insights that you collected have to move through to the Enterprise 2.0 framework you deployed. Figure 2 will show you better what that looks like:
The first you will notice is that I am proposing that the organization internally and externally is basically the same; I am willing to be wrong there. If anyone out there from the E2.0 world wants to provide me a better setup for the internal operations, I’d be happy to take it. Until then, this works for the purpose of my theories (and I suspect I am not very far off). Feedback collected becomes actionable insight and the internal operations of the company (Enterprise 2.0) works on them to improve operations, prepare better products, take actions on what went wrong, etc. Those actions result in either a new or improved end-to-end process, which in turn is presented back to the customer (via the SCRM setup) as an experience.
We have come a full circle, we have tied all the loose ends and we can stop arguing about who is right and who it wrong. SCRM is an extension to CRM (as I have said all along), and Enterprise 2.0 connects with SCRM to take the internal operations of the Social Business to the customers.
Oh yeah, the entire setup (SCRM and Enterprise 2.0) is your social business strategy as we discussed last time.
There is a lot more to discuss here: more details in each layer, a better setup for Enterprise 2.0, the proper way to hand-off information in both directions between SCRM and Enterprise 2.0, etc. There are probably a gazillion holes you can poke in this model, I am sure, and areas where you can make it stronger. This is not finished anywhere but in my mind – sorta.
Poke away, tell me what I did wrong, what I assumed as proper and it was not, etc. Make it better. At the end, we all benefit from it. What do you think?Update: link to next part, for easy reading Part 2.1 – SCRM-E2.0 Pivot Point