The marriage of social and CRM is here!

By Peter Young, Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Relations, Riva CRM Integration

Social platforms and CRM are cut from the same bolt of data-curation fabric. But, are they effective at helping your company achieve its goals? Individually, your CRM platform and the various social media entities deliver significant value if users are trained to use them and appreciate the ever-expanding capabilities that each of the platforms brings to the marketing and sales arena. What are the advantages of marrying the two?

weddingringsWe know that CRMs allow companies to parse and gather data about customers, vendors, products, and services. The accuracy of a CRM database is only as good as its inputted data. Attention to detail when using a CRM allows marketing and sales teams to deliver customized messages with relative ease. But, in today’s business world, there is often something missing in the union – rich, relevant, and meaningful conversations.

Is marrying CRM and social the key to getting and keeping your customers?

In many cases, the use of social information remains messy and convoluted at best. But again, what is it that a company is ultimately trying to accomplish through the use of social media? Various social services allow a company to “listen to the conversation” and gather information from public sites.  Think of the advantages to your customer-facing staff if your company were able to transparently capture relevant social and public information and integrate it into your CRM.  Gathering data from these social platforms provides an instant snapshot that can and will enhance all of your sales, support and other customer-facing activities. This social data collection, in turn, becomes a wealth of incredibly “telling commentary” about the history, buying moods, and/or seasonal differences of a particular company. Integrating social with CRM can make the difference between earning a new customer, a customer leaving your company, or a customer continuing to use your products and services. Integration of social data into CRM enhances data gathered from more traditional sources. Through effective data mining, your marketing and sales teams can better understand their current and prospective clients. Leveraging relevant social information can provide a significant indicator of buying trends and a fairly robust “purchasing response rate”.

So, how much positive change can be brought about as the result of the marriage of social and CRM? A lot as it turns out. Because of increased customer insight and information enhancement, this marriage can reduce the overall costs and increase the effectiveness in developing marketing leads, and equally importantly, creating customer delight to ensure long-term customer loyalty. Transparent CRM and social integration allows customer sales, service, and success teams to proactively tweak their respective product and service offerings.  This allows them to better meet customer’s changing expectations and reduce overall service costs. And finally, this type of integration has the ability to increase revenue streams that might not have been present using existing (traditional) CRM data.

Extend the power of integration with Riva Insight

So, how do CRM and social get introduced to each other to pursue the relationship? That’s where Riva Insight comes in.  Riva Insight gives direct access to CRM and social.  Riva Insight extends the integration of CRM, social, and public data sources and helps create the big picture – ensuring the marriage is strong and building toward the future.  How does Riva Insight work?  When a user selects an email or a calendar event, the Riva Insight side panel displays associated CRM contact, account, and related social and public information. Riva Insight gives you real-time access to a contacts’ title, department, office phone, mobile phone, local time, and recent and upcoming meetings. Riva Insight provides links to a company’s information from public and social sites including Wikipedia, Google Search, Google+, Google News, weather, and InsideView. Users benefit by having immediate, integrated insight to customer data from multiple sources (CRM, social, and public data sources) in a single, customizable panel.

Change your customer relationship equation and boost your bottom line

Is the marriage of CRM and social a match made in heaven? It can be – but communication is key!  Riva Insight keeps the conversation fresh and relevant. Users appreciate how Riva Insight allows them to carry out advanced CRM functions like quickly logging CRM phone calls, tracking CRM appointments directly from Outlook and IBM Notes, and assigning an appointment or task to an opportunity.  Riva Insight can contribute significant revenue to your company’s bottom line by helping you create, maintain, and enhance the relationship equation. Riva and Riva Insight deliver the “best of both worlds” – advanced, server-side CRM data sync and email integration including deep, relevant, social customer insight.