It has been a flurry of activity around these parts with the discussion of what is Social CRM, whether it exists, and what to call it.
First, I read this post from Brent Leary in Inc. Unfortunately, Inc is not very social and comments are not allowed.
So, when someone else Twitted that it was available, I responded saying that S-CRM did not exist. @Prem_K took exception to it, and a civilized, albeit very badly executed at 140 characters per text, conversation ensued. He said he would write his post, and I said I’d do the same.
That prompted a couple of other posts (Rob Schneider and Brian Vellmure) to come up. And before you knew it, it was an all out blog-slug-feast where everybody was expressing their opinion. And I really appreciated that, it gave me a lot of food for thought. It actullay helped me come up with this kindling to add to the fire.
I wanted to know how was first to use it, I checked out Google Timeline (awesome tool), and found out that the term goes back to 2006 – Kintera was the first to use it. Makes no difference, it is just giving credit where credit is due.
So, does Social CRM exist? Yes.
Does it correspond to the current model of CRM? Sure, as extensions to it.
Does it matter? No.
It does not matter because this is no more than a temporary state as we move towards a new model. A paradigm shift in customer relationships. Customers won’t depend on the organization any longer for — well, mostly product and services but not much more.
They will have access to how-to from other customers, to data and systems via self-service solutions, to complaining and making their voice heard by communities, and to mandate how the organization should work by aggregating their voices and creating a Groundswell.
In other words, call it what you want for now. It does not matter. It is about shifting the power from the organization to the customer. It is about changing the way to do business. And it is going to be named later.