Visualizing the Social CRM Process

We looked at social customer relationship management (CRM) from a high-level conceptual view in “Interactions with Transactions: Understanding Social CRM.” Now let’s walk through a potential social CRM process, so that you can visually see what we’re dealing with and how it fits within an organization.

Before we walk through the process diagram (thanks to Mitch Lieberman for his contributions and ideas to this diagram), one caveat: this model isn’t perfect, but it’s a solid baseline model. Every organization will have a different process model. Again, this is just to help you visualize what something could look like and to help you understand what social CRM encompasses.

Social CRM Process

Let’s walk through this process step by step.

1. Community Feedback

The process begins when the community provides some sort of feedback or engages with the brand. This can take one of two paths — online or offline:

  • Online path: A listening/monitoring tool such as Attensity or Radian6 monitors conversations on various social sites.
  • Offline path: Someone submits feedback to the brand via a traditional form of communication such as an in-person complaint, a phone call, or a feedback form.

2. CRM System

Regardless of where the feedback comes from, it must be fed through a CRM system. This allows the person who will respond to the customer to see the customer history, transaction records, personal preferences, or any other type of relevant customer data (something that lacks in most social media campaigns).

3. Send the Feedback to the Right Person

Once the feedback is received and put into a CRM system that system then automatically routes the feedback to the right person in the right department. Attensity for example is already able to do much of this through traditional channels.

4. Select a Response

Now that the feedback is analyzed and routed to the right person, that person then needs to make a choice for how to respond. The response can come in three ways:

  1. Micro (individual response to the customer)
  2. Macro (general response posted to the public or to a community)
  3. Both

5. Consult Business Rules

After the type of response is selected it is filtered through a set of business rules which will guide how and where the response should take place. Every organization has (or should have) some type of rules for how employees engage and interact with customers, this is where those rules fit in.

6. Deliver Response

The response is now delivered, captured in the CRM system once more (to close the loop) and is once again pushed back out to the community so the process can repeat.

This is what a social CRM process can look like. It doesn’t have to look like this. In fact, I’m sure there are all sorts of other creative diagrams that many of you guys can come up with. If you have some interesting ideas, please feel free to send them to me and perhaps I’ll feature them in a future post.

In the meantime, walk through the process diagram a few times and see if it makes sense. Perhaps you can look at a social media campaign you like and see what you would do to evolve it into a social CRM strategy that integrates some of the above ideas and concepts. We’ll talk much more about this in future articles.

Have any questions, thoughts, ideas, or comments? I welcome any type of discussion. And you can always message me directly @jacobm to chat more.

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