A hot topic of debate among customer management thought-leaders right now is the business value of “Social CRM.” My clients want to know how much investment they should make in social computing technologies like: blogs, wikis, forums, customer feedback tools, and customer community platforms. And, they want to know whether and how these new capabilities should be, and can be, integrated with their transactional CRM systems.
In my opinion, there is a lot of hype right now with respect to the business value of the social media and how to leverage this phenomenon to more deeply engage with customers. My own recent survey of 286 companies shows that only 21% currently have established customer communities at present. But, I must admit that the same data also shows that an additional 16% are piloting customer communities, and 26% are interested in implementing them. And, recent research by Forrester’s Natalie Petouhoff on the application of social media to customer service provides evidence of a high ROI.