Advising clients on how to institute the processes and deploy the technologies to improve customer loyalty can be like Persephone guiding Sisyphus. It is worth re-reading your Greek mythology for what you’ll learn, or remember, about Sisyphus: he was once responsible for commerce and travel. But because he loved destroying others to boost his business position, he ended up condemned to an eternity of frustrating repetition of a difficult and impossible task.
What is going on in Social CRM? As the hype subsides, so does the passion behind making something new and original happen. We begin to meet the same resistance in the realm of social processes that we encountered when we tried to improve basic marketing processes, sales processes, and customer service processes.
What turns out is that this new, shiny penny is nothing but an extension of the work we have been engaged in for 20 years, just leveraging a very cool phenomenon – customer participation. Where we seem to be headed is into the mire, not quite waist deep. Listening to clients, I’d say so far that in certain areas there is huge success – like I have mentioned in online retail. But a failure to gather baseline metrics, and a failure to gain the firm commitment of senior executives, can bring even the most ambitious project to a standstill.
One thing that also stands out: some of these Social CRM projects are little matchbox silos. You really need to get out and collaborate with peers across other business units. And by all means: if you are a line of business – make the IT folks your friends. They are the ones who really get the bigger issues on the technical side: security, scale, compliance, reporting, negotiating contracts. Make these great people YOUR great people, and you will find some allies that you had not known were there.