Beyond social CRM : social stakeholders management


Last week I wrote what social CRM meant to me. It’s the inevitable step toward the implementation of a customer relationship management of a new nature. Clients are not only marketing objectfs or elements of a sales pipe anymore but people with whom businesses built things on a long term perspective, beyond the sacred purchase order. Moreover, a relationship that should strenghten even if no purchase order is signed : a prospect who does no buy is not someone who make you lose your time but someone you’ve got a lot to learn from.

It’s obvious that social CRM goes far beyond the implementation of new processes and action plans. It’s, according a me, a principle every action from the company or its employees has to be in conformity with. “Is Deciding / doing such things compliant with this corporate principle ?”. It’s easy to understand that paying more attention to customers and leaving employees in a “shut up and work” logic is a nonsense, and is even dangerous. So, internal practices has to be aligned with the new way of managing customers. If not, backfire may happen quicker than expected.

In such an approach, why should partners, suppliers, sub-contractors be excluded ? They also have their part to play in this virtuous circle.

Add that the challenges that are addressed are not only economic or product-related. Marktes now have tremendous ethical expectations toward businesses that seldom had an exemplary nature. Social business is not, as some may think, a word for social media uses within businesses, but a real societal fact.

Social CRM is a small part of a wider trend. It’s the extension of the stakeholders scope, their involvement in a new governance model that has to be factually implementend in day to days operations.

This looks like “social stakeholder management”. A global approach that has to be implemented both internally and externally, and not only micro-projects tinkered here and there, without any consistency regarding to overall operations. I can’t remember who said “progress is worth only if shared by everyone”. Maybe the better way to achieve it is to built with all the stakeholders, not only with words but through day to day operations.