There is no such thing as Social CRM.
Back in the early 1990s we saw the first deployments of CRM emerge. Aided by the very fast rise of the Internet as a network to connect distant and disparate machines, we also began to see the adoption of email as a communication channel, and slowly saw the rise of chat as well.
Vendors realized that these communication channels could be used to enhance and differentiate newly minted CRM solutions, giving birth to e-CRM. Gartner debated whether to cal it e-CRM or to just add them as new communications channels. The prospects of having a “new” hot technology skewed the decision to launch e-CRM.
Gartner prepared especial reports, notes, presentations, even allocated space in the CRM Summit. The term was advertised, used, and disseminated around the world. e-CRM had arrived and how it was going to revolutionize the world and the way to do business. Vendors adopted the concept into marketing and new products, companies struggled to catch-up and named their VP of e-CRM. I was leading the charge for eService. We were making history, changing the world, leading a revolution of instant, perfect, integrated relationships that led to more business, less cost, and better way to do business.
CEO after CEO began to wonder why they had spent millions of dollars, time and resources to implement CRM if it was outdated already. One of my clients called me back about 2 months after they had made the decision to go for a CRM system almost yelling at me for telling them to go with CRM – they were now behind and they had not yet launched a single module. They could not understand what this new e-CRM provided that was so different.
And then we explained.
There is nothing in e-CRM that you cannot do with CRM. Actually, it is just an extension of your CRM setup where we add more channels and make it more powerful. It is not mandatory per se – but all the cool kids are doing it and it brings great new abilities to your implementation. You don’t have to change what you have, just add to your existing implementation and you are ready to go. It was an easy explanation.
Their answer? Why call it something new if it is just an addition to what I have?
Care to try your luck at explaining that for Social-CRM?
(note: we tried to do the same with m-crm for mobile crm, and rt-crm for real-time crm with similar results)