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Business

Social CRM to play big role in shaping services

Gartner says firms will sharpen focus on building better services…
Written by Shelley Portet, Contributor

Gartner says firms will sharpen focus on building better services…

Social customer relationship management (CRM) will undergo significant growth over the next two years as it becomes an important method for improving services, according to Gartner.

The analyst house predicts 30 per cent of leading companies will extend their online community activities to offer better services, and that social CRM is set to play an important role in this shift. Social CRM is about customer engagement and involves creating regular conversations with online consumers to build links with a commercial brand.

Social CRM can be important in customer services but only if firms devise well researched strategies, Gartner says

Social CRM can be vital in customer services but only if firms devise well researched strategies, Gartner says
Photo: Shutterstock

The Gartner report suggests that social CRM has the potential to "bring new and dynamic methods for improving customer service", and that many customer service executives are under increasing pressure from corporate executives to devise a strategy for social CRM to avoid being left behind.

Gartner research vice president Drew Kraus said in a statement that while social CRM as a method for customer service has not yet been deployed widely, it is surrounded by "significant hype".

Kraus added that the high-profile nature of social networks is likely to "rapidly advance" the adoption of social CRM for customer service.

However, a separate Gartner report looking at the success of those adopting social CRM strategies found that many social media efforts are failing.

Gartner group vice president Anthony Bradley stressed that social networking should not be seen as an end in itself. "Social media technologies are tools and, like any technology, it is how people use those tools that delivers business results."

Bradley said for companies to devise successful social CRM strategies, businesses need to focus resources on taking advantage of the collective behaviours of their customers through social media - as can be seen through popular campaigns spawned through Facebook and other social networks.

"Organisations that understand the importance of harnessing the power of collective behaviours to drive positive business change will be the ultimate winners with social media," concluded Bradley. "Those that focus on implementing social media technologies will be the losers."

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