CRM-Social-Media-Join-ForcesWhen you think about ways to improve your customer relationships, do you think about social media? Does your company even have a social media strategy in place to foster customer relationships and build long-term customers? If you’ve never thought about implementing social media into your marketing strategy before, now’s the time to do so. Believe it or not, your social media presence can have a huge effect on your company’s success, particularly in the area of customer relationship management.

The True Cost of Losing a Customer
In a time where customers can (and will) freely move on to another company when their needs aren’t being met, companies need to do everything in their power to keep them happy. Recent research has shown that it costs a company $234 every time they lose a customer. For smaller companies, that’s a significant loss. While customer relationship management (CRM) systems can certainly help companies keep an eye on these important relationships, other tools, such as social media, can be used to gain an idea of how to attract potential customers and effectively communicate with current ones.

How are Smaller Companies Using Social Media to Boost Customer Relationships?
Social media is transforming the way companies relate to their customers. While some companies shun social media in favor for more traditional CRM avenues, connecting with your customers via social media can boost your customer satisfaction rates and improve your overall perception with your customers. In fact, a recent study performed by LinkedIn reports that 81% of small to mid-sized businesses are using social media to drive business growth and 84% of using it to meet marketing objectives.

Companies aren’t just using social media to build relationships with their customers. They’re also using it to gain insight into industry research, learn best practices, and communicate with others in their industry. The value of social media for small and mid-sized businesses is great, and learning to use it to boost your company’s effectiveness – especially when it comes to customer relationship management – is key.

Social CRM: The New Revolution
If you want to boost your revenue and start improving your customer relationships, social CRM is the way to go. Social CRM unites both tools, making it easier for sales, marketing, PR, and customer support to listen to and interact with customers and prospects. Unlike traditional CRM tools, social media provides businesses with a vast array of information on both their company and customers. Social CRM allows companies to locate, consume, and use these thousands of messages about their company, products, services, and reputation to improve their marketing strategies. Social CRM also allows companies to track and interact with their consumers on social media, allowing them to directly communicate with customers who voice displeasure in their products and services.

It’s important to note that social CRM is not intended to replace the traditional CRM system but to add to it. The goal is to build upon the success of CRM systems by adding the social capability and enhancing the customer experience and revenue-adding opportunities. In order to successfully accomplish this, companies must be intentional about creating customer-focused online communities and monitoring these networks for sales or image-building opportunities. By joining social CRM with business intelligence and other analytical tools, your company can gain additional insight into your customer interactions and begin improving your company’s image.

According to a recent survey by Forrester, more than half of today’s consumers believe companies should maintain a strong social media presence and use these sites to communicate with their customers. Companies who use social CRM have reported an increase of revenue, expanded market share, improved company image, and enhanced product development so they can offer items customers have voiced wanting. If you think your customer could benefit from uniting your CRM solution with social media, contact us today. We’d be more than happy to set you up with the right solution to meet all of your social customer relationship management needs.

For more important CRM tips and trends, stay tuned to our blog.