Venn Does Social CRM Become Business As Usual?

When enterprise business functions stop staking ownership claims and start working in a coordinated fashion to execute on the social CRM strategy. I’m still witnessing too much conversation in the enterprise around this topic.  In June 2009, Jeremiah Owyang proposed his now well-referenced “Hub and Spoke” model for organizing the enterprise for social media.  The following is a thought starter at a more tactical level that explores the specific activities on which customer-facing functions should collaborate. 

I first suggested social strategic planning guidelines in this post that actually seemed to garner some attention over at The Social Customer.  Go figure.  So, I thought I ought to explore some of the topics raised in greater detail.  I started with the idea of the social ecosystem and proposed a framework for that.  And gauging by the reaction, or lack there of, that concept apparently went over like a bit of the wind in church, if you know what I mean; except of course from my friend Tim Sanchez, who slaughtered it.  In a good way, Tim.  I mean in a good way.  Your commentary was hugely appreciated.

So being a bit on the stubborn side, here I go again.  Peeling back the ecosystem onion several layers exposes what I see as the internal coordination needed to enable an effective social crm business model.  In fact, I’d suggest this model could be applied to any customer-centric business model, social or otherwise, regardless of channel.

The way I see it, the three key players that require intimate coordination in a well-oiled social crm machine are Digital Marketing, Public Relations and Customer Service. 

This model may seem too simplistic for some here.  But that’s entirely the point.  As disclaimer, I’m a customer service guy.   So, my point of view is from that perspective.  So from the conversations I hear on a daily basis, leaders of customer service are looking for that straight forward recipe book.  While this model specifically calls out the activities where coordination between groups creates value, a critical point I have intentionally not addressed is the role of each function where no overlap exists.  For example, as a stand-alone entity, customer service also needs to do what they do today: solve customer issues within multiple channels including social media.

All that being said, what I would suggest to fellow customer service folks is, in order to create value within your social crm business model, you’ll need passionate, risk-seeking leadership that is willing to take this model and assert the customer service point of view.  No Venn diagram will get you in or keep you in the game without that.

To quote Seth Godin’s most recent post: “Heretical thoughts, delivered in a way that capture the attention of the minority–that’s the path that works.”

What would you suggest?

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