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Social CRM as a business strategy

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Marketers are working in challenging times. Never before have we been able to get so close to our customers and engage with them in such a timely and relevant manner. Harnessed with customer relationship management, social media can deliver financial benefits to companies no matter what sector. The benefits are centred around increasing ‘customer insight and engagement’ and are not peripheral but fundamental to driving business performance. Financial benefits apply across the customer life cycle, in acquisition, retention, value development and managing cost to serve. In addition, social customer relationship management (SCRM) can deliver insight, which will help drive real customer centric innovation. Finally, the knowledge gained on customer behaviour, attitudes and mood will help drive benefits throughout the value chain, impacting on suppliers (for example, forecasting demand) and intermediaries (for example, shaping in-store promotions). However, pioneers in large companies face three hurdles: (a) organisational readiness, (b) over-hype and over-expectation and (c) project management failings. At the end of it all, SCRM is about people and relationships and demands a customer focus as never before. Forget that and you have little chance of success.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2011

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