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How social media can improve CRM

This post is by David Spark, founder of brand journalism firm Spark Media Solutions, reporting at the CRM Evolution Conference on behalf of Zoho, makers of the Zoho office productivity suite, which includes Zoho CRM.

“Ninety percent of all customer queries to customer service departments are just that, they’re queries. They’re not issues; They’re not problems,” said Paul Greenberg, managing principal of The 56 Group and chairman of the CRM Evolution Conference.

The goal is to automate those business processes by tying them to business rules that allow for automation of inquiries, or when necessary — when one of those 10% of issues or problems come up — integration with the customer service area.

While that’s all standard and necessary, the hottest area in customer relations management integration is social media, said Greenberg. He played out a possible scenario:

A tweet comes into the CRM system. Tied to that tweet is a pull-down menu which gives you the option to open a case or open a lead. Choosing that option triggers a workflow that connects to an appropriate party in the traditional CRM system.

In such a scenario you’re taking information from external channels, in this case social media, directly into CRM systems, Greenberg said. This helps keeps the workflow for customer service regular — and keeping ordinary business problems from blowing up into extraordinary ones, he says.

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