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Prep your CRM reps for the social media free-for-all

by Scott Wallask

May 13, 2010

By Scott Wallask, Insider Learning Network

There was a thought-provoking blog post by Renee Wilhelm of SAP Labs talking about how CRM interaction centers need to get ready for social media strategies in responding to customers.

I like to call social media the “wild, wild west” of the Internet – on one hand it’s fun, but you’d also better keep a hand on your pistol in case you need to quickly shoot something down.

Wilhelm wisely observes, “An organization’s inability or failure to respond to a negative post … impacts everyone they reach and anyone considering doing business with you using the web for research in order to make an informed buying decision.”

I remember earlier this year seeing a manufacturing company take Twitter by the horns when a government agency sent out a safety alert about one of the firm’s most popular products. The company didn’t necessarily try to spin its side of the story on Twitter, but instead used its tweets to pound away on the idea that the latest reliable information about the issue was on the company’s website.

Think about a more ubiquitous example of customer influence from Amazon: I bet some of you have read Amazon customer product reviews before you’ve bought an item on the site. Those reviews can be powerful, helpful, or damaging, depending on their slant.

What if a customer contacts your interaction center and asks about this tweet or that Facebook entry? Prepare your CRM team now, Wilhelm concludes.

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