Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SCRM vs CRM

was following this debate, http://www.socialmediatoday.com/SMC/112298, and felt the need to respond there and post in more detail here.

i do not see any great difference between CRM and SCRM except a label change. in fact i think the need to rebrand is more a reflection of the young age of the industry than anything else.

my views are not too dissimilar from Graham's comments (2nd response in http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452eab969e2011570d264fd970c)

SCRM uses social technology to enable businesses reach out to customers. so what exactly has changed?

customers were still talking to one another and influencing one another's purchasing decisions (through user groups or otherwise) and/or business behaviour before the advent of social technology. the arrival of social technology has lubricated this process and has had a multiplier effect on consumers' ability to change business behaviour. all that social technology has done is to aggregate consumer behaviour and empowered consumers to have a two way dialogue with businesses (if said businesses engaged in it).

that doesnt mean i think SCRM is irrelevant ( i think the label is, but its here to stay). businesses (some of them) now have to be more responsive towards aggregate behaviour. business has also got yet another tool from which to extract behavioural data and then strategize and deliver.

there seems to be an underlying message in most blogs/posts on SCRM, that with the advent of social technology, the consumer is king and has extraordinary power over business. I disagree with such notions. If anything, social technology has made irrelevant the individual consumer because of its aggregating nature

some random thoughts on CRM and SCRM

· CRM by itself is meaningless. It is a term created to describe how businesses interact with customers through several and often disparate functions/processes such as sales, accounts, support etc. CRM has become synonymous with the underlying technology platform to collate consumer data/behaviour through these functions/processes.

  • SCRM is not a revolutionary change over CRM but a mutation. CRM implementations were driven by large technology vendors and early adopters. SCRM implementations (if one may call them that), will be driven because of the advent of social technology, so SCRM exists not because of one or many LARGE vendors but because of step change in the usage of social technology in the environment
  • I find Paul's take on SCRM /(http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452eab969e2011570d264fd970c) woolly or pretty obvious from point 5 or so onwards. SCRM is not going to make THAT big a change to the way a business does business in the same way Web 2.0 hasnt revolutionised daily life ( it hasnt).
  • There will be a surge in consulting spend on SCRM but like the CRM spend of previous years, I bet this spend too will be questioned for returns a decade down the line
  • SCRM is less relevant for B2B and even in the B2C space, most relevant for those businesses where transaction values are low,sales cycles are short, impulse buying is prominent, and/or there is a social cachet to the purchase

and lastly for me atleast, SCRM = old wine but in a user friendly bottle.

3 comments:

John Moore said...

Yadu, I appreciated you sharing this post with me. I see Social CRM as an extension of CRM, not the equivalent of CRM. While we are still working to satisfy many of the original requirements of CRM the needs/requirements for CRM have increased as a result of social tools.

You are correct in stating that customers influenced other customers prior to social media. However, the level of influence customers have on other customers has risen dramatically. Customers are also now a much stronger part of the overall ecosystem, having a stronger influence on not just other customers, but on corporations as well. The magnification of this influence/power is what drives the need for social crm.

Prem said it best when he stated:

"Social CRM is the way businesses use social media & social networks (social technologies if you will) to respond to the control that the customers now wield over the conversations."

Let me know what you think.

John

yadu tekale said...

John,

agree that customers have the power to influence corporations and social media maginify that. i call it aggregation.

i am still not convinced an individual consumer wields any more 'control' over business than before the advent of social medial

aggregated consumer behaviour does, not individual consumer behaviour; in my opinion.

again, let us not forget that this ability to 'control' will be very specific to certain industries and most applicable to those which are consumer focussed.

and lastly, while i can see the merit in Prem's definition, the cynic in me says SCRM will be used by corporates not so much as to respond to consumer control but as yet another way to MANAGE consumer expectations and analyse consumer behaviour.

i did say i was a cynic....

Tripp said...

John:

Seems like a good start to aggregating and using it to change business or at least reflect on service delivered. The problem to me still lies in the companies ability to not only have an admininstrative action to recover with the customer, but a way to prevent the need to recover.

You already know I am partial to systems thinking to do the latter.

Regards, Tripp