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Social CRM – Is it right for your business?

I don’t know about you, but social media has become one of those things I do every day, as naturally and regularly as checking my emails – updating my Facebook and Twitter status, checking out what my mates are up to, and commenting or adding interesting links to my LinkedIn profile.

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tubeI don’t know about you, but social media has become one of those things I do every day, as naturally and regularly as checking my emails – updating my Facebook and Twitter status, checking out what my mates are up to, and commenting or adding interesting links to my LinkedIn profile.

Originally I used social media for keeping in touch with friends and putting up holiday snaps, but over the last year or so it has progressed to “liking” or joining groups, and talking to people who are interested in the same things as I am from a work and social perspective. I’ve watched as more and more companies have been taking those first tentative steps into the world of social networking, using it as an alternative channel to listen and talk to existing and potential customers – engaging in Social CRM.

So what exactly does this new buzzword mean? And how is it going to help you improve relationships with your customers?

Described as a blend of social media and customer relationship management (CRM), Social CRM is more than having a Facebook page or a Twitter account – it is about using these tools and others to listen to whatever is relevant to your business, and connect with the heart of your business – your customers.

With more than 500 million active Facebook users, around half of which log on daily, and more than 190 million Tweeters generating 65 million tweets a day, there is huge potential for engaging with this captive audience. Social media is also a great way to reach a broader audience, tap into real-time trends, and create a model to create advocacy and channel loyal customers.

As an extension of traditional CRM, or rather a new channel within CRM, this is more than just marketing; it can be used for sales, customer service and other business activities. For instance, Social CRM can provide sales teams with new ways to find and talk to potential clients, and find out more about customers’ interests, lifestyles and attitudes that will help them target their sales messages. It can play a role as an early warning system for customer service departments, because in the social networking arena no one is shy about sharing their experiences, particularly the bad. It also lets these teams address any issues in a highly efficient way by connecting with the masses, quickly.

Marketing teams can use Social CRM for idea management – engaging a community to share, capture and vote on ideas for the improvement of, or new, products, services, pricing, packaging, distribution channels and other issues. They can also run social campaigns, where they have the ability to make real-time adjustments to campaigns, rather than learning from mistakes at the end. PR teams can also tap into the social online space to monitor brand/product awareness and reputation, and for crisis management and damage limitation.

The insights that can be gained through a good Social CRM programme requires time and IT investments. The main question is whether the results will be more valuable than those from traditional advertising, PR and direct marketing activities for your company.

The main reason some businesses are slightly hesitant about diving into Social CRM is the lack of concrete evidence that it can bring in new customers. This is no longer true with some of the Social CRM tools available, as they can report on and measure social networking, integrating this into traditional marketing, sales and customer service activities to give a more holistic view of customer relationship management, without losing sight of the core focus of the business.

Some great examples of Social CRM in action include Air New Zealand’s Airpoints Fairy (used to extend their customer loyalty programme into the online space), Giapo (engages his followers with interesting videos and chatter around current affairs and gelato) and the Vodafone NZ Twitter account (responds quickly to customer complaints and sends out information that is relevant to its followers).

It isn’t right for everyone, but Social CRM offers an extra level of customer engagement that involves stepping into their space. It can be both rewarding and insightful; and also a little scary if what people are saying about you isn’t what you expect.

Social CRM – the facts

  • Social CRM is an extension of CRM, not a replacement for traditional CRM activities
  • Social CRM is interaction-driven rather than sales-driven
  • Social CRM must align with the culture, processes and practices of your company – you don’t want it to be counterproductive for some areas of the business
  • Define a purpose for the Social CRM programme – to improve customer loyalty or reduce costs of contacting customers etc.
  • Have a clear plan of what your Social CRM programme will involve – what is being pushed out, how queries will be responded to, who is responsible for what, preparation for a variety of situations/responses and the speed of reply/engagement in this space
  • There must be clear responsibilities and commitment to Social CRM from everyone in the company to achieve the best results
  • Measure social activity in business terms – increased revenue, improved staff morale, better customer satisfaction, lower costs
  • Investing in the right technology solutions to help create marketing, sales and customer service Social CRM activities is essential for being able to monitor and measure the impact of this

New Zealand

Trump’s Triumph Crashes Immigration Website

Canada and maybe New Zealand will be the top beneficiaries of exiting Americans unhappy with Trump’s triumph victory in the US Election. Canada’s immigration website crashed once news spread that Trump’s victory was likely and Reuters reported New Zealand’s website also had a spike in interest from visitors looking for information on residency visas.

trump3Canada and maybe New Zealand will be the top beneficiaries of exiting Americans unhappy with Trump’s triumph victory in the US Election.  Canada’s immigration website crashed once news spread that Trump’s victory was likely and Reuters reported New Zealand’s website also had a spike in interest from visitors looking for information on residency visas.

We published an article less than a week ago on How to move to New Zealand & get a job in 31 easy steps. This is an extract from a book written by an American woman who sailed to New Zealand with her husband and two daughters in 2012.   Sara and her family have now settled into the kiwi lifestyle and Sara’s tips on how to move to and get a job in New Zealand is timely.  The Brexit vote and now Trump’s triumph has many residents of the UK and America seeing their future somewhere else.

Canada has been quick to embrace the interest in their country saying:

“In Canada, immigrants are encouraged to bring their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens.”
@Canada

The list of celebrities whom have said they will leave America is if Trump becomes President includes the likes of Barbara Streisand, Cher, Miley Cyrus, Samuel L Jackson, Jon Stewart and on Twitter

Locally, NZHerald reports many Hollywood celebrities are commenting on twitter and Instagram saying they will leave America.

“I’m freaking out too but, together, we are gonna be OK, we got each other, animals, don’t lose your s***. Worst case, let’s all move to New Zealand,” wrote Kesha alongside a selfie on Instagram, before editing her post.

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New Zealand

How to Move to New Zealand & Get a Job in 31 Easy Steps [Book Extract]

If you plan to work in New Zealand, the time to start looking into getting a job is long before you arrive. While you may not begin your official job search until you are in the country, there are a number of things you can do to kick-start the process.

New Zealand work visa

New Zealand work visaIf you plan to work in New Zealand, the time to start looking into getting a job is long before you arrive. While you may not begin your official job search until you are in the country, there are a number of things you can do to kick-start the process.

We were still in Tonga, aboard our sailboat, and not planning to arrive in New Zealand for another three months, when my husband, Michael, polished up his curriculum vitae (CV) and sent it along to friends in Auckland. They forwarded it to their information and communications technology (ICT) contacts and to recruiters with whom they’d worked. A number of the recipients responded immediately, asking Michael to get in touch again when he landed in country. Although it felt like he was jumping the gun at the time, the tactic appears to have worked. Within a week of arriving at the Bay of Islands, Michael had a job interview scheduled in Auckland and a job offer in hand a few weeks later.

Getting a job in New Zealand is a lot like anywhere else. It’s all about who you know. I’d say it’s even more so in New Zealand as there is only a degree or two of separation between people due to the small population. This is a tight-knit country. So if you do know someone down here, it may pay to leverage that contact.

On the other hand, it’s certainly not required to know anyone. Michael landed his current ICT gig by applying for positions advertised on seek.co.nz, the most thorough job listing website in New Zealand and Australia. This is the best place to start researching the jobs that are available and where they’re located. (See Step 11 for choosing which part of the country to live in.) Many New Zealand companies advertise open positions on LinkedIn.com.

My other favourite job listing sites are:

  • Trade Me (all types): trademe.co.nz
  • New Kiwis (all types of skilled work): newkiwis.co.nz
  • Kiwi Health Jobs: kiwihealthjobs.com
  • NZ Education Gazette (teaching positions): edgazette.govt.nz>

For an extensive list of job websites, browse careers.govt.nz/job-hunting/job-vacancy-and-recruitment-websites. Check out the rest of careers.govt.nz too. It’s chock-o-block full of job hunting, training, and general career advice for New Zealanders.

Finally, have a look at the government’s Skill Shortage Lists (skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz). On these, you’ll find occupations that New Zealand needs more people to fill, either temporarily or long-term. If your occupation (or one of them) is on one of the skill shortage lists, your work or residence visa application is much more likely to get approved, and more quickly.

This leads to one of the most common questions people ask me: Do I need to be in New Zealand to get a job? The answer is…it depends. If your occupation is on the skill shortage lists, you are much more likely to be successful in applying and interviewing from out of country. But even if your occupation is not in demand, and you find a job that’s a perfect fit for you, apply.

According to one hiring manager I spoke to, they often interview applicants who are outside New Zealand. He says: “It’s difficult to find people already here that have the ICT skills we’re looking for. After we offer the person the position, they start the work visa application process. When their visa is approved, they move down and start working.”

For some positions, such as seasonal or temporary work, you are likely to have a better chance at scoring a job if you interview face-to-face. As I wrote earlier, Michael began seriously applying for work after arriving in New Zealand, but having a good idea of what’s available with a CV ready to go was key in making this process as short as possible.

This post is an excerpt from How to Move to New Zealand in 31 Easy Steps by Sara Dawn Johnson.

Sara Dawn Johnson, along with her husband and two daughters, moved to New Zealand in 2012 by sailing their home, a 38-foot sailboat called Wondertime, across the Pacific Ocean. Sara is also the co-author of Voyaging With Kids: A guide to family life afloat.

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New Zealand

Is Your Website Your Best Salesperson?

Businesses who fail to look after their website and online presence do so at their own peril. There are many real life examples of businesses large and small losing market share and in some cases going out of business altogether due to their poor online presence.

Their competitors however probably engage a professional SEO company and as a result they’re reaping the rewards with more customer leads and revenue.

Businesses who fail to look after their website and online presence do so at their own peril.  There are many real life examples of businesses large and small losing market share and in some cases going out of business altogether due to their poor online presence.  Their competitors however probably engage a professional SEO company and as a result they’re reaping the rewards with more customer leads and revenue.

Google doesn’t care if your business earns millions or even billions in revenue.  Google only rewards websites that are well designed.  A mobile friendly website is not a luxury like many out of touch businesses believe, it is a fundamental requirement.

Start up businesses with well designed websites can get a jump on established firms and grab market share.  They appear to be overnight successes while steadfast market leaders can appear to go out of business just as fast.  We don’t have to look to far either to find lots of examples all around us especially in the retail sector.

Summarily if your website design is not mobile friendly it’s not going to be found by prospective customers who use Google for their research.  When your business fails to show up in the search results consumers set their sights elsewhere.  Consumers now almost rely exclusively on online research.

MYOB released a report a couple of years go stating 86% of New Zealanders were using the Internet every day and 80% of us are searching online before buying a product or service.  New Zealand is one of the most Internet savvy countries globally with four out of five homes connected to it therefore your website really should be your best salesperson!


This blog article was written for BusinessBlogs by Mobilize Mail.

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