Socialology 101

So, before you click away from here thinking this is a rehashing of the social CRM definition debate, stop.  It’s not.

After I was awoken by my son last night at 2:15am, I laid back down and this thought popped into my head.  I tossed and turned until five this morning, spinning it over and over and hoping I didn’t fall asleep where the thought would be lost.  I suppose I could have gotten up and wrote this post then, but, hey I don’t have a white board in my bedroom.

So for argument’s sake, lets start with Paul Greenberg’s definition of social CRM:

“…the company’s response to the customer’s control of the conversation”

Ok, as some of you might know, I’m a technologist.  I build stuff.  But, the problem is I can’t build a “response”.  Then I had a vision…at 2:15am.  And, because I’m a right-brained techie (a rare breed), this vision wasn’t an architecture diagram, it was of an open book.  A book as the platform.  And not this platform.  This platform:

Books contain stories.  So, this book is the platform for communicating and engaging; customer with customer, customer with brand.  Within those conversations are stories.

With me so far?

So what is contained within those stories?  What do we get out of books?  Knowledge, information, data.  This information about our customers, their wants, needs desires, is taken into our corporate brain.  And hopefully, we become smarter about those customers.  We get to know them better.  We establish a relationship based on mutual understanding.

Then what do we do with all that knowledge that our customers have shared with us through those stories and conversations?  We create stuff – products, services, solutions and experiences.  And, because that stuff is more relevant to our customers’ needs, those customers are happy customers….and they all do the wave in tribute to us.

Uh oh…have I just described good old CRM?


  1. yep, you described CRM as is should be, and not how it was eventually packaged and productized by software companies

    nice drawing, btw :)

  2. Thanks for the comment, Mark. Totally agree…and is sCRM much different in terms of the goals? the strategy? The inputs are different, clearly. But the end goal, I think is the same. And thanks for the inspiration for the drawing!

  3. I just happened upon your blog while mindlessly trying to amuse myself about why companies train customer service representatives to ALWAYS tell the customer they need to remain a customer – even when it is clear (at least to me) that not all people are good to have as consumers for their products or services. Has anyone explored why this is practiced? Is there truly no company integrity left that stands behind the idea that "we are the right provider for the right goods and services to the right consumer of those goods and services?" If a family is trying to meet the economic challenges of today and that family calls to say they want to cancel their cake of the month membership, does that family really need an explanation of the advantages of they get with membership pricing verses the full cost? Wouldn’t those people have nicer memories to comment on when asked about the cake company if they did not leave as consumer-hostage escapees? These are the things that make me say, hummmm.

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