So let’s talk about the healthy BIG C

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 01 February 2019 3:25 PM CAT

The online community imperative for B2B brands  
Blog 4 in the 2019 series.

Let’s talk about the healthy BIG C in CRM and it’s definitely not customer relationship management!

Traditional CRM as we know it is really about customer attraction and retention. ‘Relationship’ has always seemed a massive misnomer for me. The R in CRM would have been better served with a new nomenclature – something like ‘revenue’, or ‘retention’?

But if we’re talking ‘relationship’ best we change the paradigm. Today relationships are about communities. It’s not what you can learn about your customer but what you can learn from your customer.

CRM for us translates to community relationship management. Often it’s more about small data than big data. It’s that virtual ear to the ground that teaches us more about our customers, the way they engage with us and with the community as a whole.

In the first instance, online customer communities give your customers a voice and a place to be heard and being heard is a key part of customer retention. Customers who feel that they have access to you can make significant contributions in product and service development. As mentioned in previous blogs the privacy provided within an online community, owned by your brand, allows them a safe sharing environment.

Taking a step beyond customer retention is customer advocacy which of course traditional CRM does not provide. Don’t read this as a case against CRM, but rather a strong argument for customer and brand communities. Through online communities, brands are leveraging the community to drive programmes and gamification, driving the advocacy agenda.

According to the Aberdeen Group, 85 percent of online communities have a formal strategy to encourage loyal customers to be brand advocates.

Janice Scheckter is MD of Indigo New Media, where we always have a virtual ear to the ground.

 Source: Higher Logic

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