Social CRM has nothing to do with CRM

Yup, that’s right.  If Social CRM has anything (IF) to do with CRM it I secondary at best.  Any social strategy is about the message, not about the software.

I keep hearing people asking about social CRM and I have yet to see any examples of anyone doing it right and I firmly believe that is because they are expecting the software to solve the social messaging conundrum.  It won’t.  The software (be it Dynamics CRM or otherwise) acts as a container of your messaging, you still need to define that message.  You still need to define the delivery mechanisms.  You still need to decide sender and receiver of the messages you do send.  You have to own the messaging.

Take Dynamics CRM (a truly great and versatile product).  Use its built-in campaigns and marketing functionality as designed.  Get yourself an add-on (Exact Target, Vertical Response…) to help brand your message.  Know what your message is, know how people perceive your message.  For better or worse from a corporate perspective social messaging is all too often about damage control.  Use CRM to organize this, identify patterns, and make changes.  Use CRM to track followers/connections/fans and the public (and private) replies to your business social accounts.  But again, it is the container, not the solution.

The social CRM game is full of players, everyone wants to be the first to get it right.  The focus is wrong. Until someone approaches the problem not the symptoms, no one can do it right.

Random Dynamics CRM help phone call

I just got off the phone, and I don’t even know who I was speaking with but I saved their CRM, or so they tell me.

Here’s the story…

Folks around my office are pretty good about gatekeeping and eliminating random sales calls.  I was in a meeting and the phone rang.  They told Joy when she answered the phone that they were in CRM crisis and had credit card in hand to pay whatever they needed to to get right again.  I don’t know how they found me or our company.  But ok, they had my attention, not sure what I could do, but hey give I a try.

Their CRM Online org had some 4000 Account records currently divided between two salesmen, both CRM users.  They had been assigned to a total of four at some point but were now down to the two.  The guy on the phone was not exactly sure what he did or how he did it, but he managed to accidentally get all 4000 accounts assigned to himself.  He wanted the do-over button.

CRM 2011 came with limited undo/redo edit options, but that wouldn’t help here.  Having no clue how he managed to re-assign all the records, I was going in pretty much blind.  Let’s look at auditing records, if there’s data, maybe I can workflow it backward.  Nope, auditing turned off.  Ok, let’s look at system jobs.  Nope nothing there.  So, maybe we could revert ownership via workflow to the record creator, then mass re-assign like that had already done previously.  Nope, records were created by system user when imported from old system. 

Then I get my epiphany and kick myself for taking the hard way.  Let’s do an Advanced Find on all accounts modified today.  Yup, the results were about the same number of records that had been accidentally changed.  Now it was a matter of select all->assign to that user.

There are two morals of the story…

  1. know what you are doing in CRM, and slow down when doing things that have far reaching effects like re-assigning all records
  2. when troubleshooting try the easiest solution before you try the hardest

Now they have a little clean-up of records that were modified in others ways beside ownership but that would be fewer than 25 out of some 4000.

Joy thinks she might know who was on the phone, but I still don’t.