Who “Owns” social media? This is a question that keeps people up at night, because the question has a direct impact on who “owns” the conversation, the experience and (in the end) the budget. Ask instead, “Who owns the customer?” and the issue begins to expand and involve more functions along the customer continuum. This same continuum exists in social media. While customer service departments may be responsible for the direct interaction with the customer, can they also make a repair, schedule a product upgrade or install a new phone line? The speed at which information travels in social media puts additional pressure on internal processes. How quickly can the company respond, and in effect, “turn a complaint around?” How many steps are there along the resolution channel within the company? Can steps be removed?
The answer to each of these issues likely cannot be resolved by a single group; rather it is the responsibility of the entire company to ensure the customer’s experience is a good one. In an attempt to break out who does what, below is a look at some of the general responsibilities for a social CRM program with a view of both the reactive and proactive functions in the social CRM continuum.
*These roles and responsibilities are generalities used to draw some distinction between functions. Lines can, and do, blur.
Lean-back & Lean-forward
|Business Group||Reactive Activity||Proactive Activity|
|Monitoring and addressing messages sent directly to the brand through social media||Proactively searching and addressing messages about the brand in social media; identifying systemic issues|
|Monitoring and addressing direct messages from influencers||Delivering information specific to broad company initiatives, messages specific to issues, and official company views; identifying systemic issues|
|Responding to the needs of customer care and the community manager team’s request for content||Proactively engaging community managers to bring better, more frequent content to the channel; assessing systemic issues and operationalizing change|
|Advertising||Bringing compelling paid opportunities in support and defense of the brand, including paid search, sponsored Tweets/trends, etc.||Coordinating with the community managers & marketing to dial in advertising and search efforts to lead to the brand’s social channels when appropriate|
|IT||Giving teams access to the tools necessary to monitor and engage in social media||Becoming part of the process by advising on best-in-class tools for monitoring, tracking and engagement|
|Leadership||Assessing the bottom-line imperative of social CRM; empowering teams to explore community needs||Supporting the overall social CRM effort; approving operational changes; ensuring cross-business integration and cooperation|