Ross Mayfield has a great post “The CRM Iceberg and Social Software”
The Enterprise Irregulars, of course, discussed it – Ross is part of our group.
My comment to him
“ One-off customer interaction is expensive as hell and if that is what social CRM is about, we are in trouble. Efficient customer interaction is about little customer interaction. Unless the customer wants interaction.
I like to cite the Hertz example. On some rentals I do not have to speak to a single employee.. On-line res, no signatures required on forms, signs to guide me my car parking area, online receipt when I am done. I love it. Dollar, in contrast, forces me to hope their employee will find my res, sign a form in triplicate and do a eyeball walk around the car - and that's before the rental even begins.
Walmart has self-checkout lanes. But last week I wanted a GPS stand for my daughter's car and the store had put that $ 15 item under lock and key along with more pricey GPS units. I found the employee in that section - he insisted I pay for it in his area – so much for the self-check out at the front of the store.
Now, when a customer wants interaction nice to have quick, efficient response. I was pleased to hear a Walmart lady ask Biz Stone (of Twitter) at a conference how they could intelligently weed out customer feedback from all the other tweets that reference WalMart.
So 99% of the time, I do not want CRM and customer interactions to be social...the 1% I do need it I want it to be extremely transparent, speedy etc etc...”
Bob Warfield joined the discussion on his blog – ice cubes become icebergs when you mishandle those 1% situations. He references the United guitar incident. United should think about Red Coats that Delta is bringing back as I wrote here.
But let’s not go wild with social CRM. I would like zero interaction in 99% of my transactions because that would mean the process worked just fine for both the customer and the vendor.
Update: Paul Greenberg who will expand on Soical CRM in the next edition of his perenially popular book on CRM summarizes the growing EI discussion on the topic on the ZDNet blog.