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Welcome to my CRM software and sCRM blog.
This online forum and dialogue shares the experiences, lessons, learning and insight about the real world uses of Social CRM (sCRM) and traditional Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) systems.

 

 

 

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Research Links Social Media Adoption to Better Business Performance

Corporate Innovation Also Linked to Social CRM Success

Many of us like survey results. They confirm what you know to be true, or, if they don't, you can turn on the source and claim the methodology is biased or wrong. Win-win.

Last week, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) reported some market research numbers on its blog from a new Babson Executive Education survey about the use of social media as it relates to the relative success of the companies who engage in its use.

From a field of 900 participants, the survey created what it called "Social Media Customer Leaders" by their response to the statement "Our company has embraced social media to improve its responsiveness to customer needs." The respondees who strongly agreed were designated SMC leaders; those who strongly disagreed were designated SMC laggards.

The survey then compared the business fortunes of leaders to laggards and came up with some interesting results. In 2009, 21% of the leaders' businesses experienced flat or declining revenues, versus 31% of the laggards. Only 5% of SMC leaders' companies grew by more than 25%, but that rate is twice that of the laggards. And two-thirds of the leaders strongly agreed with the statement "We are more effective meeting customer needs today than 18 months ago," while only one-third as many laggards said the same thing.

Clearly there are many variables that lead to business performance results. And as stated on the Harvard Business Review's blog, this does not mean that implementing social media will lead to improved business performance. But I think it does suggest that it's a sign that a company does understand that customers like to have contact with the companies they buy from delivered in the manner of their choosing. That may be a social network such as Twitter, or a blog, or something else – but if your business is serious about being customer-centric, it will make an effort to be there when the customer wants to speak. Customer-centricty can clearly lead to better business performance. And it makes sense that laggards don't comprehend this and will continue to behave in business-centric ways, expecting the customer conversation to come to them.

The survey results also found that leaders strongly agreed with the comment "My company puts more emphasis on innovation and growth today than before the recession" 43% of the time, versus 17% for laggards, suggesting that there needs to be a culture in place to nurture and encourage the use of social media experimentation, piloting and full scale implementations.

Does your company have the business culture that promotes social CRM success – and would that culture change if you could show numbers that indicate that such a change equals success?

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 Social CRM (SCRM) & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software