The ICUC Glossary is a resource, providing definitions to commonly used industry terms. It’s a work in progress – and if you have suggestions for any terms you’d like to see defined, please send them in!
The acronym CRM literally stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” Today, in web-based marketing and business, we often hear/see the term “Social CRM” or “SCRM.” The latter, the social version, refers to the use of managing customer relationships via social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, G+, and so on).
CRM is the applied practice of attracting new clients and customers, fostering the relationships with the ones you already have, and even finding former customers and bringing them back into working with you/buying from you, etc. Now, with technology and social connections – a vast, organized, infrastructure of managing customer relationships can be made possible.
It’s about generating leads, identifying issues with potential clients, or customers you have now. Discovering who your best customers are, and then finding potential clients with similar needs, and so on. It’s the automation and handling of everything customer-related in an organized, efficient means.
In many business relationships, the needs, wants, and happiness of your customers – should be important to you. Thus, the spirit of CRM is the desire to maintain a good working relationship with your customers and clients. It’s about making sure that customer’s needs are met, your agreements for products and/or service are upheld, any issues resolved, and ultimately – further loyalty and business from this customer is ensured.
Client concerns, customer service, getting to know customers on a personal level, response time to questions or requests, and just all forms of communication – both one-way and two-way, are all made faster, easier, and smoother. What used to require a face to face conversation can now happen via Facebook; I don’t have to make conversation with someone to know their interests outside of work if they post about what they enjoy on their Facebook page.
I recently attended a professional chat, with other Social Media gurus and experts, all about CRM. The ways and means in which businesses of all sizes use technology to address the needs of clients is simply remarkable! I love when technology is applied to really connecting people and improving relationships.
It would be foolish to act as if your company’s bottom line is unaffected by pleased customers. Of course it is. Business exists to generate revenue.
But that doesn’t mean that genuine relationships and actual caring can’t concur as well! Automated and mechanical systems can take the personality and closeness out of working relationships – but the flip side is that social media, and constant real-time communication can bring that back in, and allow both parties (the brand and the customer) to get to know each other better.
At ICUC, our CSMs – Client Services Managers – strive to have great relationships with the client contacts they work with. So many of my CSM pals are always telling me about the real, personal going-ons with the clients they work with. Because of the closeness and familiarity afforded by social media, two people working together for business purposes are really able to get to know each other, and form a bond.
It’s been my belief and experience that you do the best in the business world when you really care. If you genuinely care and love what you’re doing, it shows! Likewise, if you genuinely care about the happiness of your customers – it shows, and people can sense and feel that sort of thing.