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The Evolution of CRM to Social CRM

Posted by on July 1, 2010

In the last post we looked at what the difference between CRM and SCRM is (with visuals).  Today I want to talk about how CRM is actually evolving to SCRM.  There have been several images and diagrams which have attempted to depict the shift or evolution from CRM to Social CRM.  Chess Media Group in collaboration with Mitch Lieberman decided to break down how CRM has evolved by taking things back to basics and addressing the questions of: who, what, when, where, why, and how.  We feel that taking this simple approach will really help shed some more on SCRM without making the topic confusing or convoluted.

This image clearly depicts what CRM is (or was) and how it has changed or evolved into SCRM.  For those out there that continually refer to SCRM as a tool or a technology hopefully this helps clarify things a bit and show that SCRM is not about a technology at all.  Technology and tools don’t address strategy and changes in communication and interaction that we are currently seeing.  A tool will hopefully allow you to support a strategy that adapts to the changes that we are seeing above, but again the shift we are seeing is behavioral and interaction based not technology driven.  We can see from the diagram above what this evolution means to both the company and the customer.

After looking at this evolution organizations need to then ask themselves, “knowing that this evolution is taking place, how can we adapt to serve the social customer?”  Organizations are used to doing things a certain way, and that “way” has remained relatively constant over many decades.  But how can organizations today communicate and interact with customers the same way they have been even 10 years ago?  The answer is they can’t.

This image was taken from the whitepaper, A Guide to Understanding Social CRM, which can be downloaded for free and provides in depth information and discussion around Social CRM.

Hopefully this image makes sense and simplifies things a bit.  Any comments or questions?  Let’s hear it!

  • jeffpeel

    Yes, but, if it's not about tools and technology how the hell can you manage it?

    • Tools and technology can of course help you manage these things but without a strategy in place there isn't going to be anything to manage

  • geoffsnyder

    Great post, Jacob. I like the platform that you described and wold love to learn more about it, as for it appears Chess Media has done a great job testing it and laying down the ground work in a easy to understand methodology. The image couldn't explain it any easier.

    • Thanks for the kind words Geoff. The goal was definitely to keep things simple so if it's easy to understand, then we did our job 🙂

  • Guestman

    CRM? I can think of a lot of reasons why it makes sense to elaborate on acronyms. Primarily, it's considered good style. Secondly, someone may straddle multiple domains in which the same acronym is used for different purposes. And finally, from the outside, it appears off-putting and pretentious. The uninformed observer is left with the impression that you don't care if they know what you are talking about and they lose interest rapidly. If you are interested in spreading your message beyond a select group of friends and colleagues, stop bandying around acronyms like everyone knows what they mean.

    • CRM has been an acronym used by business professionals for quite a long time already and it's nothing that I made up. For the uninformed observer I covered CRM from a high level and will do so again in a future posts. Of course if someone doesn't know what an acronym stands for we have this new powerful tool, you may have heard of it? Google

      • Puzzls

        Wow. Terrible reply. Guestman had valid points and you basically just insulted him for no reason. Really? I came here directly from Google reader. I haven't read your blog before but was interested in this post. I DID Google CRM but didn't appreciate having to do it. Is it really beneath you somehow to put Customer Relation Management in parentheses? That attitude really just turned me off to your blog.

        • Didn't insult anyone, guess I'm just a bit more thick skinned? I've covered CRM in the past but I can't put a CRM disclaimer or explanation on every single CRM post that I put up. Nothing is beneath or above me. If all you needed was to know that CRM = customer relationship management then yes I could have done that and will make a point to do so in the future.

    • Fair enough, I'll elaborate on the acronyms from now on (as I did in my latest post and linked to wikipedia), let me know if that helps. Thanks!

  • Great post!

    I couldn't agree more that without an all-encompassing strategy in place, our CRM efforts are ineffective and outdated. Organizations should switch their focus from being profit-oriented to customer-oriented. By putting your customers at the centre of your business, your ability to meet and satisfy their needs are endless.

    • Thanks for the kind words and thanks for the comment!

  • hasan50 : is a business consulting resource and information site. You can find hear job, business, shopping, mobile, and cell bazar resource and information.

  • Jacob,
    Your chart is great! And I agree that it goes far beyond CRM and tools? Between the dots, what you are saying is that real-time web has changed marketing which role is no longer to sequence massive messages, but to offer instant personalized replies to consumer queries. Here we are talking of a new architecture, new data, new culture.A culture where customers are partners , every employee is customer service and decision making as close as possible from the customer in order to transform products into relevant solutions.

    • Thanks for the kind words. This is going beyond real-time and beyond social, it's just a behavioral and communication change and social is a part of it. new culture yes 🙂

  • jeremy dumont

    perfect ! well said.

  • I don't agree completely with your chart. Your giving the customer too much power to dictate things without taking into account the wide variety of business entities. Yes a customer can tweet at midnight. But no one would ever expect a response at midnight. Next day only if the business is actually using Social Media.And it has been proven time and again the bigger the business the less you need social media due to its lack of scale. If I have a call center and I am a business that needs one I will be directing people to call directly vs tweeting or a Facebook post. Social is actually more personal but significantly more superficial. I can send a detailed email with a problem. But can not do that with social. I think you complicate things way too much and have chosen Social as the only way to go because that is what your specific focus is and how you make your living. I think everything on the left side is still 100% valid depending on your business needs. Not saying the right side is wrong. But its by far not the only way and I don't agree with the way you stated the rules/expectations. Cheers.

    • Hi Howie,

      On the contrary I try to stay away from focusing on social and have been advocating that for quite some time. Have you read our whitepaper on SCRM? Social = not how I make my living. CMG focused on e2.0/social crm/and social media strategies but social media is tiny piece of that. A customer absolutely has power to dictate things; why wouldn't they? Keep in mind that this is just showing a shift from CRM to SCRM and doesn't talk about company action or engagement, that's a whole diff story. I wrote about social service level agreements a while ago which address your point of “tweeting at midnight.” Call centers, in person communication, email, etc- none of that gos away. This is not focused on social at all in fact the word “social” isn't used anywhere in the graphic. if you have any ideas on improvement I'd be curious to hear them.

  • The platforms we use are helping us understand how we interact at our best. They are revealing the power and value of culture in organisations. Great diagram!

  • Props to you. This is the best visual I've been able to find that demonstrates the shift in CRM (here's the link to the definition for those who don't like to use the Googles). The social world has really torched the old CRM rule-book and opened up a whole new doorway of opportunity for customers and businesses to connect.

    Very well done… and I'm loving the book.

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