Collaboration,Customer Communities,Enterprise 2.0,Social CRM

Social CRM and Social Business

18 Feb , 2010  

Last week had the privilege of attending the CRM Seminar on “Social CRM for Business” organised by BPT Partners, where Paul Greenberg managed to attract a large number the world’s thought leaders on Social CRM and market players during a two-day event in a snowed-in Westin Hotel in Washington DC. To the members of the #SCRM Accidental Community it felt like the culmination point (hence the term #scrmsummit 😉 ) after many, many months of tweet conversation, blogging and commenting, skype chatting that have helped us shape our ideas of what a Social CRM Strategy could look like as well as the promise it holds concerning how business can be changed for the benefit of all parties involved. It was great to meet in person finally!


Enterprise 2.0,Social CRM

Rethinking Sales in a SCRM Strategy

18 Jan , 2010  

Before you start thinking “where the heck is he going to go with this, does he want us to ditch our Sales people?”, let me reassure you – it won’t happen so I won’t try to argue in that sense. All I’ll be talking about here is that we could take the opportunity that a Social CRM Strategy can offer to change the approach we have been taking to organizing for Sales activities. In this post I will concentrate on B2B Sales as this is what I am most familiar with (see Mitch Lieberman’s “Is B2B the new B2C” for more thoughts on the subject).


Customer Communities,Enterprise 2.0,Social CRM

What I’ve discovered about Twitter

21 Dec , 2009  

Twitter has become quite centtral in the way that I go out and research subjects that interest me, and to exchange with people that have knowledge and insight about these. Before I used to turn to Google, but it was very difficult to find the nuggets of knowledge you’re looking for when you get 36 million search results (most of them irrelevant). Twitter has turned out to be an extremely effective tool as a community-based knowledge transfer tool.

I used to be a sceptic – proudly saying I did not tweet – as I did not see the value of telling the whole world that I was having double-twisted latté macchiato cappucino coffee or whatever at a Starbuck’s. Boy was I wrong! Twitter has been the most effective tool that I have found yet. I set up Tweetdeck and did one column that filters on the #scrm hashtag (my main interest), and another on #e20 (these are linked as Social Business, hopefully Esteban Kolsky and I can tell you more about it during the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Paris and Boston). Soon I found out who the most interesting tweeters to follow were (or is it twits? lol) and reached out.


Collaboration,Enterprise 2.0,Online Customer Communities

Social Learning and Customer Engagement

9 Dec , 2009  

One of the approaches to improving Customer Engagement and Experiences I’d like to explore is the potential to include customers, partners and suppliers in the Social Learning process. One of the drawbacks of an customer ideation platform/community is that more than 99% of the ideas are never looked at or implemented because they do not take into account the business context and constraints.

Whilst ideation may be a good source for innovation for companies, they can be a source of dissatisfaction for those customers who submitted ideas if they do not receive any acknowledgement for the effort they put into it. So rather than feeling closer to your brand and becoming advocates for it, the quite opposite may occur.


Collaboration,Enterprise 2.0

The Future of the Training Department

6 Dec , 2009  

In my previous role at BEA Systems/Oracle, I created and managed a Professional Services business unit for training clients on the implementation of Enterprise Portals (including Collaboration, Knowledge Management, Content Management, Integration of third-party products) and Business Process Management tools. I have been exchanging with many people on twitter, mainly on the topic of Social CRM, but I keep my eye open to the topic of Enterprise Learning, and from time to time I exchange tweets with Frédéric Domon (@fdomon). So I was happy to be asked to contribute to the Enterprise Collaborative Initiative :) Enterprise Collaborative - Ecollab 250x250

Social Learning seems to me to be an innovative approach to continuous learning (I am an eternal student of life myself). From what I understand, the idea is to use the web 2.0 to enable free-flow collaborative learning that builds upon the insights of others and leads to new ones. This is advocated in opposition to the more traditional, structured instructor-led top-down approach to learning (tell me if I’m wrong?).

Though I do believe that there is a valid argument to the collaborative approach, I believe there should be a juxtaposition with the traditional one.  In my opinion be, what is learned through collaborative learning should formalised, structured an made available as traditional learning. The main reason behind this thinking is that there is a risk to create barriers to new entrants to access and acquire the knowledge of the ‘regulars’. One could argue that the regulars could do knowledge transfer – which is great in theory – but who has the  resources to do so (time, effort, motivation)? I think it will simply not scale.


Analytics and Data Mining,Social CRM

Customer Contexts

3 Dec , 2009  

When reading through the tweets and the post on Social CRM I often get the feeling that we are focusing too much on the individual customer. We store personal and business informaion in our CRM system, we keep track of what they have bought as well as their history of interactions with Customer Service and Support (or at least we should be…). We try to analyse, extract leads and forecast whether they will be buying from us in the future  or inciting them to do so through push marketing (informing us that our little niece Suzy’s birthday in just under a week, so we should buy her a gift through our online store…).

I also hear more and more often that the major difficulty that we will be facing is the potential for data/information overload (‘drinking from a waterhose’) – even though Nenshad Bardoli argues that this will be dealt with eventually). The individual customers that we have in our systems suddenly are tweeting and bleating all over the internet, and curretn theory seems to say that we need to capture ALL of that so that we can then let lose the ever more sophisticated and more expensive Analytics Engines & Business Intelligence solutions on the data in order to extract ‘insights’ to guide our business and customer engagement with this individual.


Social CRM

Social CRM for SMEs : WeCanDo.Biz Review

20 Nov , 2009  

I’ve been out and about the last couple of weeks, first to Holland to the Dutch CRM Awards where Paul Greenberg gave a great Keynote presentation on The Social Customer, and then to the UK to meet with some interesting people to further my understanding of Social CRM – what it is and how it could provide value to how business is done. As I continue with my journey I will try to give you my impressions as I go along.


Analytics and Data Mining,Collaboration,Enterprise 2.0,ROI,Social CRM

On Social CRM Options

5 Oct , 2009  

The discussion around Social CRM is entering a phase whereby we are trying to move away from turning around in circles about semantics, towards a more practical and pragmatic approach that businesses can identify with so as to consider implementing it. I won’t deal with CRM Vendors here, as Social CRM can be seen as an extension to CRM. As a primer on SCRM I suggest you look at Bill Band’s article on Customer Think. The main idea that we all do agree upon is that we need to become customer-centric in order to respond to their changing needs and expectations, and this may have some major ramifications on the way we organise our businesses.


Customer Communities,Online Customer Communities

Social Media Communities

20 Sep , 2009  

About a week ago John Moore @JohnFMoore put his stake in the ground on what Social Support Communities are in the arena of Social CRM. His definition centres around their purpose of conversation around dealing Support questions, for example the Dell Support Site. This got me thinking about what Lithium and Helpstream o.a. actually do, and I believe they cover can a far wider purpose.


Enterprise 2.0,Social CRM

The Paradigm Shift is in the People, Social CRM is a Response to it

17 Sep , 2009  

I think the actual paradigm shift is the realisation of the consumers that they now have power derived from choice and the means to share and influence others with a far greater reach through the use of Social Media. We can now interact in far greater numbers, when we choose and share our experiences about how happy or unhappy we are about your business. Happy customers can drive more people to become customers. When we voice our gripes, you had better listen and meet our expectations to make us happy again. We have no obligation to do business with you, there are others out there and we’ll go elsewhere. As a group we have power, but you’d better listen to me as an individual!