Social CRM is a double-edged sword. It gives businesses a tremendous opportunity to easily communicate with consumers, rapidly answering questions and responding to concerns. But it also gives companies more chances to slip-up or to be perceived as being unresponsive or uncaring. That is why a growing number of organizations are stepping beyond the confines of traditional customer relationship management and incorporating social media into the next wave of CRM implementation.
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Salesforce.com created a splash in the social CRM market with its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications for sales and customer service. Salesforce, which debuted its first product in 2001, now has more than 92,300 customers, the company said. The service cloud, available for a 30-day free test drive, includes the developer's Chatter messaging platform, integration with social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and the ability to integrate with live chat. Pricing ranges from $65 per user per month for the professional edition, to $135 per month per user for the enterprise edition, and $260 per user per month for the unlimited edition. There is no limit on the number of users for any edition. Because of Salesforce's worldwide success, rivals are aiming squarely at its customer base. Microsoft last year began offering existing Salesforce clients discounts if they moved to Microsoft's CRM product and SAP in March took the wraps off SAP Sales OnDemand for SMBs, designed for the same customer base that Salesforce serves.
Social is a Business ImperativeThe use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
Social is a Business ImperativeSocial media is critical in the age of digital business. How can IT help? First, work with the marketing team to set up social networking programs on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, at minimum. Then work to put social media sentiment analytics in place to measure success.