Is Social CRM a Fad or Trend?

Customer relationship management has grown to so much more than just software on a computer and a call center. It has evolved to become an interactive way to understand how organisations can deliver increasing value to their customers. With social media gaining popularity and wide acceptance, comes an entirely new way to interact with customers. You can talk with customers easily and succinctly and in ways they’re already using. Social CRM also offers customers a new way to be heard that doesn’t involve wait times, dropped calls or elevator music.

As technology evolves so must we and so must the business we run and how we touch base with the customer to listen to and fix their problems.Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even MySpace are fairly new. These things come in favor and then lose favor. They change, evolve and then people like them again. The point is that people are using them. Millions of people and many of them are probably your customers. Our world is now based on getting the most done in the smallest amount of time and doing it anywhere we may find ourselves. Keep this in mind the next time someone brings up social media and using it to service customers and promote interaction.

We all saw the explosion of social media in 2011 and how it was used to the advantage of businesses. You can take orders, connect with customers and fix their problems in a blink of an eye. In addition, social media provides you with an entirely new pool of potential customers. Even if you have a small company your services are now available to everyone with an email account or a cell phone that uses apps. The question still needs to be asked, “Will social CRM still be big in the next two years?” and the answer would be a resounding yes.

This is a new era of doing business and there are several trends that seem to be growing with no signs of slipping. People are getting comfortable with the technology and when that happens you need to expect sudden and unexpected changes and growth. Sales, customer service technology, marketing – all of it – will take a giant leap forward. The next three years will see exponential growth in usage of these channels which one needs to act on in order to remain relevant to customers. Go ahead and grab a QR Code (Quick Response Code) because they’re popular, everywhere you look and most people have a free app to read the things. Not to mention one simple thing: they’re free! They can link up to nearly anything you need it to including customer service.

Over the next two years you will begin to see integration between all of these technologies. Companies will create positions in their companies for those that specialize in social networking to deal with customers and their complains. According to a Gartner report social CRM software is going to be big business and it is expected to surpass $1 billion across the globe. CRM solutions alone are predicted to go far beyond those numbers hitting $12 billion by the end of 2012. That means that social CRM represents about 8% of the budget for CRM software. In 2010 this was only 4% so you can see already how far social media has come and how CRM is reacting to it.

The number of Indians on the internet is currently around 121 million, and increasing steadily by 5-7 million users every month. Facebook users increase by a huge 85% compared to last year - up to 34 million in June, 2011.

Do not allow yourself to be caught unawares. Be there, at the front lines, to attack this trend head on. Talk to your marketing and customer service staff and get their thoughts and opinions on the social media trend. See how many of them use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. The number will be surprising from there you can begin looking into social CRM and how to utilize it. Soon you will be streamlining your business and will be reaching the masses all in one swift motion.