[YDM Week@nd] Social CRM


daily Pulse
02.12.2016 No. 31
Social CRM


Customer Centric Era

Consumers are constantly exposed to a variety of information about new brands, products and services, so if they do not like the way a certain brand does business, they will easily be able to find a replacement. This is why customer experience and customer relationship management (CRM) is rapidly becoming the essential aspect for business success. In fact, a research by Bain & Co. estimated that 89% of businesses relay on customer service as their primary means of competition. As a way to win over the minds of their current as well as potential customer, increasing number of brands rely on social media for managing their relationship with customers.


Social Media and Customer Experience

Digital and customer centric era has changed how brands and customers communicate with each other. As more and more mobile consumers use social channels to connect with and seek services from brands, businesses are looking to find opportunities in social media for enhanced customer services. Data gained from social channels allow marketers to analyze the customer-brand interactions, which will lead to insights for more targeted marketing practices. By the nature of social, managing customer relationships through social media is interactive and conversation-driven rather than sales-centric. In other words, social CRM allows brands to differentiate themselves through intimate, one-to-one interactions with customers.

Today’s digitally savvy customers do not hesitate to share their feelings on social media, especially related to brands. They actively use social media to voice a complaint, ask for help, make a booking, or to request information about brands or products. And when customers do make comments or ask questions, they expect to receive immediate answers. Accordingly, social platforms are introducing tools to facilitate efficient communication between businesses and their customers.

According to Facebook, there are more than 50 million active business Pages, and 2.5 billion public comments are left on those Pages across the globe every month. With continuous development of new features, Facebook is trying to help these businesses in leveraging the use of Pages. “Saved Replies” allows Page admins to quickly respond to incoming inquires with pre-written replies, raising the efficiency of dealing with customer requests.

As customers often want instantaneous communication with brands, Facebook rolled out a new feature that helps users identify Pages that are particularly responsive to their messages. Pages that respond to at least 90% of messages within five minutes are given “very responsive to messages” icon right below the cover photo. To assist businesses cope with flooding comments and messages from customers arriving all hours of the day and night, Facebook added a tool for admins to show their customers how quickly they can provide responses. Admins can choose from “within minutes,” to “within an hour,” and “within a day.” Also, they can change their status to “away” during off hours so that people know the Page is unavailable to respond. Timeliness is crucial when handling customer complaints or queries, and these features on Facebook Pages are directed to enhance the quality of businesses’ customer service.

Messaging Platforms

Pages are not the only place where brands connect with customers on social media. As increasing number of messaging services are transforming to full-featured business platforms, Facebook is leveraging its messenger service for handling customer services. The company has launched a beta version of Messenger Businesses, a chat-based method for companies to have real-time, personal conversations with customers. In addition, Facebook added messages to its Page Plug-in as a way to better integrate Facebook with existing business websites. With this feature, companies can add the ability for users to send a message via their website, and the communication will appear on Facebook Messenger or the desktop chat interface. Considering that Messenger now has over 800 million users, the platform is expected to evolve into pervasive, mobile-friendly channel for customer services in the near future.

After dropping its $0.99 annual subscription fee last month, Facebook owned WhatsApp announced its plans to move into the Business-To-Consumer (B2C) communications market. By allowing its users to communicate with businesses and organizations that they want to hear from, WhatsApp intends to serve as CRM platform for participating businesses. The messaging app recently hit 1 billion monthly active users, raising anticipation for its customer support features. It will be interesting to see how brands leverage social data from Facebook and utilize messaging platforms to deliver instantaneous and personal cares for customers.

Editor's Note

On social channels, consumers can share feelings and experiences about brands and products, get inspired to buy something, make purchases, and talk about the recent purchase publically and/or privately. As such, social media are becoming “everything platforms,” which means that maintaining sound social relationship with customers at each point of consumer journey is critical for brands’ competitiveness.

ydm's View on This Week's Theme by Sangkyu Kim, General Manager of Service Planning Department, Innobirds Media

Whereas traditional CRM used to rely on basic information such as name, e-mail, phone number, and purchase history, social CRM allows a whole new opportunity. Besides first-hand information that brands gather themselves, social channels provide customer reaction based on consumer behavior analysis and main interests of target audiences. These data have influences on the planning of product and ad campaigns, control of manufacturing output, and even re-purchase. Xiaomi as well as Korean fashion/cosmetics startups are experiencing rapid growth with low cost through social CRM. Messenger commerce, one of the biggest issues this year, is expected to show tremendous synergy effect when combined with social CRM.

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