That’s according to Bruno Teuber, VP and GM of Lithium International, who was speaking exclusively to Enterprise Communications during its recent ‘Executive Interview Series’ in London.
As Teuber, notes, “For many companies, brand building has been synonymous with rigid control over messaging, but in the age of the social customer, this is no longer desirable even if it were possible.”
Designed to create awareness of the latest developments within the enterprise communications space, this series of one-on-one video interviews drew business leaders together for a day to discuss how firms should be harnessing social CRM to deliver real business benefits.
Those gathered learned that today, the social customer discusses your company’s product, brand or market on public forums such as Facebook and Twitter whether you like what they’re saying or not.
So, while at a base level social CRM consists of a strategy and particular set of technologies for listening to and measuring what customers are saying on social channels, Teuber says that perhaps more importantly it contains a means for fostering conversations that mutually benefit customers and the brand, as a set of data and associated analytics for determining the value of customers' contributions to the enterprise beyond a direct spend.
He believes that enterprises must also think long and hard about how they can successfully use social CRM to define the business problems they want customers to help them solve around things like better service, helping others to make purchase decisions, generating excitement, awareness, or perhaps new ideas.
“Social CRM projects generally succeed or fail based upon customers'
interest in participating, so it is vital that early social CRM efforts identify points of mutual value for customers and the business,” he adds.
With Teuber suggesting that social CRM has been around for as little eighteen months its rapid rise seems all the more remarkable. Indeed, there are already differences in adoption of Social CRM practices across different verticals. Regulated industries, for example, have different requirements for how brands can interact with customers.
Of course, the first and most important decision for any enterprise to take in all this is whether to be passive or to take a more active role in trying to maximise the value of these conversations.
The ‘Executive Interview Series’ forms just one part of the Enterprise Communications portfolio which was created to help those within the industry learn about the latest communications products and solutions for enterprises. It also helps them engage more easily with existing and potential clients, creating awareness for what they do.