In 1991 Siebel introduced the concept of a CRM Suite. The first complete version came along shortly after, and the first successful, complete implementations were around 1995-1996.
In November of 2007 Oracle, Siebel, and Microsoft announced their first “Social CRM”-aware products, and it was only earlier this year that Paul Greenberg set a working definition for Social CRM.
Did you really think we would have successful implementations by now?
The reality is that SCRM is still a couple of years away. As deafening as the hype is, we have only recently began to understand what it is that we are trying to build. Communities existed for some time, but they are just a portion of SCRM. Feedback Management also existed for quite some time, but, again, also just a small piece of SCRM. The path to SCRM is going to be as slow as the original CRM — so what should you do right now?
Three actions to ensure your SCRM success in a couple of years.
1. Education. Social CRM is the company’s response to the client becoming social. The biggest challenge to its adoption is to make sure that everyone in the organization understands that. The generational shift we are experiencing takes some years to work through; generation Y won’t immediately seize control of the world and change the business model. It will take 5-10 years to become a reality. Educate executives, employees, and partners in what it means to become social.
2. Piloting. A few years into the CRM “revolution”, after seeing the first failures, we realized that CRM cannot be implemented as a technology, nor can it be done all at once. The changes that the organization needed to make to their systems, databases, and processes were too large to take on all at once. The concept of “piece-meal” deployment and leveraging pilots for CRM should be applied to SCRM. Deploy a couple of communities. Test what you can do with Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Don’t believe the doom-sayers: your company won’t collapse if you get it wrong the first time.
3. Planning. Launching any one tool or technology and expect it to solve the “SCRM Problem” is naive at best. Organizations that want to succeed at SCRM must develop a strategy to get there. Determine your reasons for adopting SCRM (as I often tell my six-year-old, “because” is not a valid reason). Determine the metrics for success. Plan the slow implementation, the education and training, the changes in systems and processes. Worked for CRM – eventually.
As Prem Kumar wrote in his blog last week, the road to SCRM is long and you have to make sure there are no weak bridges on the way.
What do you think? Am i missing something? Are you already working in your slow path to SCRM? How it is going?