7 SCRM insights that will change the world – From #SCRMSummit

This week the #SCRM community practiced what it preached when Paul Greenberg pulled together a room full of the top thought leaders in SCRM.  Many thanks to Paul for being the magnet that pulled us all together and many personal thanks for including me in the event.

Where to start…First, much to my surprise we had almost full attendance despite the snow and travel challenges.  I was a local and almost got scared from braving the roads but knew I needed to be there given the number of stellar attendees.  And I’m pretty darned sure that’s what motivated the other attendees to brave the travel tribulations too.

What I loved about the group was the open discussion, and sometimes debate, within the conference room and in the evenings’ various social gatherings.  We don’t always agree with each other but everyone handles the debates with professional courtesy and a willingness to evolve their thoughts.  That’s how we all grow.

Here are 7 takeaways that hit the loudest.


The 7 takeaways

  1. Start with Customer Strategy – Focus on humans first.  Make it the cornerstone of your strategy.  Everything else, including technology, is moot until you do. 

    Start by mapping your customer experience.  Gain an honest understanding of your customer’s sense of satisfaction.  Go beyond mere surveys by having open dialogs with your customers. Be sure your exec team has their own convos as well. They need to hear the raw responses from customers so the messages will have a full impact.

    Fortify your strengths and retool where your Customer Strategy fails.  Continue to dialog with customers to see how you’re doing.  Repeat.

  2. Customer expectations.  What’s important is your customers’ expectation for their experience with your company.  Sure, you still need to run your business with efficiency and effectiveness but build your processes around the customer expectations -- not in spite of them.

    Customers have expectations for immediacy. Find ways to meet it.  Sometimes that might mean alerting the customer of when you can have a complete answer to a more complex answer but at least give them that.

  3. Co-creation with customers doesn’t have to be grandiose.  Sometimes co-creation can be small or iterative – but it will always be shaped by customer expectations.  Thus, you have to understand those expectations, which means understanding your customers (and not what you think you understand).  See #2.

  4. Social CRM refers to a collaborative corporate mindset – which means it extends beyond marketing or customer service.  If your company is going to be truly effective, then you need to collaborate within the organization and across departments, as well as with your customers and external partners.

  5. Social CRM is a team sport.  Effective SCRM impacts culture (people), business processes, and technology.  There are smart employees and consultants but no one person will have all the answers needed to build a comprehensive strategy.  Expect to build a team compromised of internal folks mixed with external consultants as needed.

  6. Social CRM technology is evolving.  The technologies themselves are starting to mature but will need to continue innovating in lock-step with growing business demand and expectations.

    Stop debating definitions of E20 versus SCRM versus whatever else.  At the day’s end, tech solutions are all about creating pathways to connect your audiences (customers, partners, employees, and prospects) and foster collaboration.  The rest is labels and semantics.

    When it comes to technology, think best of breed across solutions that will play well together.  Corporate needs will change as will solutions.  Whatever you implement needs to be up to the task of evolving too. 

  7. The SCRM Accidental Community practices what it preaches.  We’re all excited about our work – and eager to help each other , our companies, and clients succeed.  We’re sharing our knowledge within the community and extending it outwards.  And we’re forming collaborative partnerships with each other.  We’re open to new members and embrace new thought.

Note, Brian Vellmure has a list of his own 6 takeaways. You can check out his thoughts here.

There’s another #SCRMSummit being offered in Atlanta in May so be sure to go if you missed the one in DC.


Personal observations

I learned a lot from the presenters and other attendees.  I also had great fun meeting up with folks I engage in with social media channels like Twitter, blogs, and via Skype.  And I can’t make a post like this without mentioning a few people (their Twitter handles shown in parens).

Paul Greenberg (@pgreenbe) – Thanks for pulling us all together and for being a driving force in the SCRM community.  Also for sharing your depth of knowledge in fun ways and for being an all-round gentleman.  You have and are continuing to help me in ways that mean so much and I am highly appreciative.  You also inspire me to follow your example and share with others.

Natalie Petouhoff (@drnatalie) – Loved visiting with you! Thanks for your insights!  You’re definitely part of the Ladies Who Rule club and one smart cookie.  Like Paul, I appreciate the way you extend yourself to help others and helped me.  Looking forward to our next visit.

Jesus Hoyos (@Jesus_Hoyos) – We’re going to have great fun working together.  I can’t wait – and I’m looking forward to learning more about CRM in Latin America.

Adam Metz (@theMetz) – Thanks for all your great ideas – and you gave me so many during a short meeting.  I just want to link a cable from your brain to mine and download.  Looking forward to continuing to get to know you.

Brent Leary (@brentleary), David Myron (@dmyron) and Prem Kumar Aparanji (@prem_k) – Enjoyed solving Sapaclesoft’s problems with you guys.  We rock together.

Brian Vellmure (@CRMStrategies) – I had great fun talking with you and gained a few dandy ideas.  I especially loooved the book idea.  Hoped I helped you as well.  BTW, listening to you talk with your son gave me a glow.  What a great dad you are!

Mitch Lieberman (@mjayliebs), Mark Tamis (@marktamis), Wim Rampen (@wimrampen), Mike Boysen (@mikeboysen), Michael Krigsman (@mkrigsman) – I enjoy our Twitter and Skype convos – and it’s all so much better in person.  And we rock together!  Mitch is right, give us three months together and our community would change the world.

Bruce Culbert (@bruceculbert) – Glad to meet you and thank for offers to help.

Scott Rogers (@jayhawkscot), Jim Berkowitz (@jberkowitz), Ed Sullivan (@ed_sullivan), Philip Soffer (@phsoffer), Margot Heiligman, Wils Wurtz, Mike Fauscette (@mfauscette)– I had fun chatting with you and hearing your stories.  Looking forward to continuing to build relationship with you all.

Esteban Kolsky (@ekolsky) – Dude, you were missed but there in spirit.

Everyone else – Glad to have a new connection to you and looking forward to following your leadership.