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Social CRM for Larger Businesses: Customer Communities Could Be Key

This week, LoopFuse’s VP of Field Operations, Matt Quinlan, sat down with Helpstream’s Bill Odell to discuss utilizing Social CRM to create customer success. Quinlan oversees sales, marketing, and “customer success” at the on-demand marketing automation vendor, and gave some insight into how LoopFuse has been using a Helpstream community to optimize his work. Helpstream is a self-proclaimed provider of Social CRM, and offers integrations for Oracle and users. Their product is built for web-driven customer service and support, ultimately engaging customers through the creation of a community.

An example of a Helpstream Online Community

An example of a Helpstream Online Community

One of the interesting points Quinlan made is that Helpstream has been integral to his ensuring customer success as LoopFuse grew. The bigger the company became, the more difficult it was to ensure customers were satisfied throughout the implementation process (in LoopFuse’s fledgling days, assistance was performed on a one-on-one basis). Quinlan states that deploying a Helpstream community allowed LoopFuse to provide better customer service via an interactive, searchable, digital environment.

The suggestion is that having a customer community will soon be as important as having a company website. Now, this isn’t surprising considering the information came from the Helpstream website, but the information’s source doesn’t preclude its validity. Helpstream users are provided with the ability to engage their customers through the community—as opposed to customers passively consuming content—which helps them maintain stronger relationships.

Integrating social media into CRM, creating Social CRM, has been a much-debated topic over the past few years. It’s tough to find a solution that utilizes the technology effectively without creating distractions in office, and perhaps greater adoption and monitoring of the customer community is a step in the right direction. Only time will tell how many other large companies employ similar communities, and with what amount of success, but for now it seems a good way for large companies to reach out to customers with social media—something that’s eluded them for a while now.

[Photo courtesy of pcmag.]