From CRM Software to Social Media To Social CRM
Integration of CRM Software with Social CRM Delivers Synergistic Results
Ask 100 business executives how they integrate and compliment their traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and methods with social media marketing, now generally referred to as 'Social CRM' (SCRM) and you'll likely get 100 different replies. I know, because I've asked many.
For example, when Carl Mazzanti, vice president of network strategies for eMazzanti Technologies in Hoboken, N.J., was asked, he responded that he communicates his products and solutions to customers through calls, IT seminars and other traditional marketing methods, but that a key way to get his name out and bring in more business is through social media communications he posts on Facebook and Twitter. "It's a customer touch," he commented. "From the marketing perspective, the more you can touch a customer, the more mindshare." That makes business sense, but it's not for everyone.
When the question was posed to Amy Abrams, the GM of Database Solutions Inc., a system integrator in King of Prussia, PA., Adams responded she has nothing to do with social media marketing because in her eyes, it may do more harm than good. Abrams indicated she tried using LinkedIn, a social networking site designed for business professionals, but didn't think it was worth her scarce time. Instead, she said, what she noticed was that by adding her customers to her "linked" contact list she was essentially giving the names and contact information of her customers to her competitors. True, but only if she also added her competitors to her contact list. Abrams stopped using LinkedIn and also doesn't use Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.
In a blog post on CustomerThink.com, by Dick Lee, an expert on customer-centric business approaches, titled "Are We Gulping Social Media Kool-Aid? he questioned whether too many business people and quick response companies are buying into social media without adequate analysis, or a plan. Read more about social CRM »
Why Implement Customer Relationship Management Now?
A Synergy of Cost Efficiencies and Revenue Enhancements
Are Customer Relationship Management systems a clear cut value for those who selectively choose to adopt them - or are they more of a bedrock business application that no company can do without?
Despite the technology media suggestion that nearly every company has already adopted a CRM software application because they are essential to basic business and considered a cost of doing business, a deeper analysis of the market reveals that many organizations have not adopted CRM solutions — and many of those that have may not be fully successful with their customer management programs.
So, for those remaining businesses taking a wait and see approach, why adopt CRM software and why do it now? Here are the simple answers.
Why CRM? CRM applications, when combined with business strategy, are proven to grow sales, reduce business process costs, increase customer loyalty, decrease customer churn and empower the organization to more successfully implement go-to-market business growth initiatives.
Why Now? Because in increasingly competitive markets those companies who wait are sidelined by those companies who act. The benefits of CRM software and strategy are challenging to achieve, but offer proven and sustained benefits for those who persevere. Here are a few more considerations. Read more about why CRM now »
Routine and Regular Malware Training Key to Prevention
If a virus or malware hasn't yet hit your company, it will; Prevention is the key
Your company trains your staff about sales techniques, using software applications that affect their jobs and how to operate basic office hardware, from desktop PCs to telephones. That's a great start, but do you also give your staff basic and important lessons in information security so they don't inadvertently acquire a virus or other malware payload? If you don't, your IT infrastructure is an accident waiting to happen.
Too many IT leaders assume their staff take necessary precautions, follow IT policy and know the signs of malware. This often just is not the case. What's needed to ensure consistent performance and appropriate security is user training and periodic refresher courses in computer viruses, malicious software and other security threats that can quickly infect staff computers before moving on to your entire network.
All it takes is one careless user to bring chaos to the company network, and possibly put data and business operations at risk.
Why do I bring this up now? Recently a savvy user in our company typed in a Google search term and then clicked on the first link that appeared to have what he sought. He was immediately greeted with a downloaded file that he didn't request or expect. It began quickly flashing colorful warning pop-up messages that declared his PC was "infected" by viruses and urged him to "click here" to fix the dangerous situation. He knew not to click anything, to avoid making the situation worse. Read more about malware training »
Password Compliance Must Get Measured to Get Done
IT has to constantly think about many things, from maintaining hardware and software to disaster recovery to data back-ups to power, cooling and more. But one thing that often gets over-looked, until after a information security incident arises, is password management.
Somehow, with all the high investment hardware, software and critical business data that receives prioritized attention, many IT managers relax their guard or forget that these user passwords staff use to access their confidential and sensitive secure accounts and applications are the difference between running your business securely and suffering from a data theft or information security compromise.
Instead, some undisciplined users may write their user names and passwords on paper scraps, sticky notes or print them out on a spreadsheet contained an insecure drawer or under their monitors, where prying eyes know where to look and can easily acquire them to get into their employer's most sensitive data.
I received an e-mail from Security Coverage of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a security software vendor which last month joined the field of software vendors to offer password management applications to help small and midsize businesses (SMBs), small office/home office (SOHO) users and consumers better manage the often confounding assortments of passwords that they accumulate and use nearly every day. Read more about password management »
The IT Training Conundrum
Leveraging Online Webinars To Increase Skills
If you're like many IT workers, you've got more things to do than time to get them all done. So finding the time for continuing IT education doesn't always make it to the top of your priority list. Balancing the need to continuing training with limited resourcing makes training an IT conundrum.
You know you need to keep up on the brisk pace of industry advancements, but there's little or no budget, a shortage of time and few opportunities in the workplace. So what's an IT professional to do?
Consider taking a new look at the wide range of IT webinars that are offered from technology suppliers, business partners, professional groups and a myriad of technology media publications that are all clamoring to get their brands and experts in front of you. There are many educational choices and opportunities out there even if you can't find the time or budget to get out of your office or travel to conferences.
Now's a good time to let the training come to you. So where do you get started?
A great first place to check are the Web sites and e-mail newsletters of your primary suppliers (you are subscribing to informational newsletters from suppliers that are important to your business, aren't you?)
There's some remarkable content out there that you can be consuming and following in your day-to-day IT tasks and these newsletters often offer sign-up information for a wide variety of informative webinars on software, hardware, information security, new technologies and other IT tools and processes. Read more about IT training »