CRM1Social networks such as Facebook, as well as discussion groups on Linkedin, Twitter and blogs, are very good grounds to explore customer needs and customer experiences. Accordingly, virtually any marketing agency offers social media monitoring today -combined with the matching offers to the positioning in social networks.

Winning "Facebook Fans" is a good idea, but still does not convert to money earned. Rather, this group of potential customers needs to be figured out and understood what they want in order to learn how to score with them. It is therefore imperative to be able to capture the moods of these groups through automated systems, something that the leading systems in the market are capable of already, by dissecting this information to feed them into CRM systems.

At this level of sophistication the air is already considerably thinner. As an example, has made the start in this field and now offers and sells software with such capability as an additional solution due to the acquisition of Radiant6. Microsoft uses the purchased tool "Netbreeze", which now belongs to the standard feature set in "Dynamics CRM 2013". Using it, the customer can choose whether to use it online or offline.

Fact is that whether social networks on the go, via Smartphone or simply all channels, companies must develop integrated CRM strategies.

"Voice of the customer" analysis tools, however, are in general still too often silo solutions. What the users of such systems are really looking for are integrated solutions which enable them to capture and analyze customer feedback in a centralized manner. The user would like to have it easy and see everything at a glance. Still, it will probably take quite some time until the customer monitoring of individual activities, spread over several monitoring systems, which are not integrated with each other, will be a thing of the past. Therefore, the future users of such systems should already be on the lookout for integrated solutions today, in order to be able to optimize their customer feedback processes. As it is now, whoever is able to offer such solutions, will dominate the future in this field. After all we live in a very price sensitive period, and whoever cannot differentiate themselves through their service, will be losing out.

Apps offer an agile mobile support in this case: Location based tracking makes it possible to offer individual sales offers or lucky draws on mobiles and start viral marketing campaigns through the integration of newsletters and social media interconnections.

Therefore, by a better understanding of the used channels, this should lead to improved offers to the customers - for example, in terms of response time to tweets, hotlines, etc. Customer loyalty can therefore only be further developed, if these channels are used to the customers’ satisfaction. So, technical and ethical challenges still have to be conquered at all touch points that collect the relevant customer data.

By Roger Stadler