Understanding Your Social Customer Engagement Scenario

Social customer relationship management (CRM) is all about brands engaging the social customer — or interactions with transactions. But where is your company when it comes to social CRM?

To answer this question, Chess Media Group and Metz Consulting collaborated to put together four social customer engagement scenarios, based on our client experience and observations.

These scenarios can be viewed as progressive stages. The goal for businesses is to progress, hopefully arriving in our fourth scenario.

What do these stages look like?

Social Customer Engagement Scenarios
click to enlarge

Most organizations today are in Scenario 2. They’re starting to engage with customers through social channels and educating themselves about social customer strategy.

Rather than talk about what each of these scenarios means (you can read the text in the image), let’s talk about what is required to move from one scenario to another.

Moving From Scenario 1 to 2

This requires the organization to start engaging with customers via social channels. This is often referred to as “dipping one’s toe in the water.”

What do organizations here need? Some sort of existing customer records, whether that be through a CRM system or some kind of purchase history.

Also, organizations here are starting to think more about what it means to become a social business and what’s required to get there. Typically, brainstorming meetings and cross-functional discussions start to take place here.

Moving From Scenario 2 to 3

To make this happen, the organization must develop a strategic framework for engaging the social customer. This means researching how the customer behaves and what the customer wants through social channels.

Also, organizations must understand how to make these interactions and engagements scale across the organization. This may have been in the “discussion” period during the second scenario but during Scenario 3 this needs to be well established and in the process of being implemented.

Here, we also start to see the organization start to integrate social data with traditional customer data.

Moving From Scenario 3 to 4

To make this final move, the organization needs to fully integrate social data and interactions with traditional customer data. Typically, ownership of this type of initiative is already clearly spelled out, whether it be a particular department around social business or perhaps a cross functional “center of excellence.”

A long-term vision for the social customer has been laid out and the mutually beneficial value to the customer and the company is being fully realized by both parties. The strategic framework and infrastructure for scaling this initiative must also be in place.

The organization as a whole must also be aligned on the social customer strategy and what it means to the organization (and departments involved).


By no means are these scenarios set in stone, but they should give you a general overview or framework for where most companies are today. As with the previous posts, this all designed to make social CRM an easier topic to understand, so hopefully this post serves that purpose.

Do you have any questions about anything we have covered thus far? Always happy to chat about this directly on Twitter, @JacobM.

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