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« Aggregating Some Random Pieces: The Social CRM Industry | Main | Thinking it Through Some More: More on What Else? Social CRM »

March 22, 2010

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Technology Details

You are absolutely right, Ultimately it is very hard for technology to deliver an ROI by itself, since it tends to be dumb and agnostic by nature and how its used is what would (or wouldn't) deliver the ROI.

Technology Details

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Tamara

Muchiri

Practically speaking, strategy allows the organisation to frame the context within which the CRM is being implemented; what business goals does the program enable and what needs to change for the program to work. Without strategy in place FIRST, it becomes difficult for a CRM or sCRM project to 'take'.

Because sometimes technology does trigger the cultural change, 'decoupling' certain portions of the social CRM can be very helpful. Like the contact center using Twitter and GetSatisfaction. The next step becomes how to integrate these 'natural' tools with the enterprise apps the business relies on and isn't willing to upgrade to '2.0' versions. The cultural change happens but the management will to invest further is left lagging behind, usually because ROI in the traditional sense could not be demonstrated.

But even introducing these 'decoupled' or unbundled technologies when rolling out the program may not trigger cultural transformation. As Munish asks, does the company then dump the program and find something else to do? Like Frank at Comcast, is it possible to still use the tools and let management call them what they want (PR instead of CRM) until the transformation does happen? Sounds sneaky doesn't it :)?

Paul G.

You are absolutely right, Ultimately it is very hard for technology to deliver an ROI by itself, since it tends to be dumb and agnostic by nature and how its used is what would (or wouldn't) deliver the ROI.
Even though SCRM is a new discipline for the most part, its governed and plagued by the many of the same issues that most enterprise deployments of CRM are - in addition to a few new ones, of course.

Account Deleted

Thinking about the (S)CRM-as-technology-vs-strategy discussion, a simple test would be to see if the new-tech-on-the-block can deliver substantial ROI by itself.

With the SCRM issue on hand, an enterprise can listen in on social interactions to its heart's content, establish an elaborate social presence and so on. But without the strategizing part, all this could end up blowing up on its (or the internal scrm protagonist's) face like the latest Nestle episode. That clearly says that if you deploy the technology without the overall strategy, you are wasting an opportunity or maybe even taking a big risk!

That said, strategy and technology have gotten that much closer especially with SCRM. Key to remember is that there are very few enterprise technologies which have delivered sustainable ROI all by themselves.

Culture is a well-known aspect of strategy. "Start small" (like Comcast) has usually worked well to build initial success stories.

Overall, (not to douse the enthusiasm towards SCRM), similar challenges exist in enterprises uptaking SCRM but maybe to varying degrees.

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