CRM in the Social Age

How does CRM work in today's connected world?

Social media, tablets, and the plethora of smart mobile phones have changed the way people are connected to one another and has opened the door to peer to peer conversations. Today people are more informed and connected and often the important decisions are influenced by social conversations. In this connected world, how do you as an organisation ensure that you stay connected, listen to what people think about your product and services and inevitably become part of the conversation through marketing, sales and customer service?

In the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2014 Release Microsoft launched Microsoft Social Listening, an enabler for you as an organisation to listen to conversations and reply in line, to stay connected with what your customers are talking about. This has now involved one year on into Microsoft Social Engagement, and has been released as part of the Dynamics CRM 2015 Spring Release. The emphasis here is the engagement focus.

Microsoft Social Engagement can help you track what people are talking about, engage one on one, engage in bulk and alert you to changes in the average. If we look at the three core CRM functions, social engagement can be applied in many ways:

Microsoft Social Engagement can help you track what people are talking about, engage one on one, engage in bulk and alert you to changes in the average.

What does it look like, how easy is it to use?

For starters if you utilise Office 365 and have ten Dynamics CRM USL (User Subscription Licence) Professional licences then you are entitled to it for free! Otherwise you can purchase the subscription via the Office 365 admin centre just like any other product.  

It has been designed to look and feel like Dynamics CRM and has been designed to be simple and intuitive so everyone who needs access can access with minimal user training. 

For example to set-up search terms to be monitored it is as simple as 1-2-3:

1. You give your search a name and assign to one of the predefined categories or create your own i.e. Competitors, Campaigns, Accounts, Products etc

2. You define the search terms in terms of core keywords, inclusions that must be in the post to be included and exclusions to be excluded from the search results. You can monitor sepecific twitter handles or facebook pages in addition to just a keyword search.

3. Finally you test the search criteria to get a sense for the average monthly posts to be consumed and activate the search and you are all done.

Through the Microsoft Social Engagement user interface you can drill into the results by a sepcifc search term, filter within the search and look at the information from a number of perspectives.


Conversations view


Sentiment view


Location view


Sources view


Posts view

In addition, social watch lists can be created and assigned to users to monitor, respond and track into Dynamics CRM as a new lead, contact, account or Case, enabling Dynamics CRM and Social enagements to unite.

You can define alerts if certain keywords are mentioned or if the trend spikes. It becomes your early warning system and enables you to react quickly and efficiently to social interactions.

If you are using Dynamics CRM Online then you can also embed Social Listening into Dashboards and records.

This is particularly useful for tracking campaigns, competitors and providing your sales and service teams a view of what people are taking about.

How could you get engaged and what scenarios should you focus on?

It has been recently said that to get people to believe in your message then they need to see it three to five times through different medians be conversation, website, blogs, social channels, press or newsletters for example. Business reputation is built on brand, loyalty, personal conversations and excellent products or services, every sales and marketing professional knows this and social provides a way to scale these conversations to a wider audience. I have listed below my top three scenarios for using Social Engagement and empowering the business to engage:

  1. Empower Marketing – listen to the buzz that is being generated as a result of a campaign and use this insight to generate and cultivate new leads for the sales team. Listening is a low touch activity, but when you listen to the key messages then you can drive high touch conversations with peers in the buying stage of the ‘buyer’s journey’. 
  2. Empower the Sales team with insights – Enable via dashboards and pre-defined searches keyword searches that identify potential customers actively looking for product recommendations to solve a business problem. 
  3. Monitor your competition – Listen to what customers are saying about your brand can open the door to offering relevant solutions, but listening to what people are saying about your competitors can showcase weak spots in their offering. Think of it as an opportunity to help, and have the appropriate salesperson send the customer something useful. 

Next steps

Social Engagement is easy to enable but without a strategy you will have no focus and most likely fail with your user adoption and value. Once you have well defined strategy and have set out the objectives and outcomes you can quickly enable via Microsoft Social Engagement. Some key questions that you should ask yourself to help you build a strategy are:

  1. What is the reason for measuring social conversations?
  2. What are you trying to achieve and how it is aligned with your customer experience and other initiatives?
  3. How will social add value beyond just the bottom line?
  4. What metrics will you use to confirm if what you are doing is working?

If you can answer these questions then you are on a good path to success. Intergen can help you with this journey and has tools and techniques to help you map out your social strategy and how this will affect your customer experience and journeys with your brand.

Is your workplace truly working?

Is your workplace truly working?

Four key barriers to productivity and how to overcome them

Read more...

Thinking beyond CRM and ERP

Thinking beyond CRM and ERP

A look at the highlights of this year’s Microsoft Convergence conference

Read more...

Making data analytics more affordable

Making data analytics more affordable

Azure’s new data warehouse set to benefit business intelligence customers

Read more...

Awards recognise world-class work

Awards recognise world-class work

Intergen crowned winner at annual Microsoft Partner Awards 

Read more...

CRM in the social age

CRM in the Social Age

Connecting with customers through social engagement

Read more...

Using a step-change to share information: a case study

Using a step-change to share information: a case study

How Fulton Hogan teamed with Intergen to exceed customer expectations

Read more...

The Future is Bright

The Future is Bright

How our Graduate Recruitment Programme works

Read more...

Stay up to date with all insights from the Intergen blog