Over the last six months, I’ve been working closely with Ray Wang, who is well known as an expert in the Customer Relationship Management space. With my focus on social technologies, we did a deep dive on how our worlds are colliding into the trend of Social CRM.

In our opening webinar, when we announced our joining of the firm, we made it clear we’re looking at the holistic business, across multiple business departments—not silos or roles.

A real problem is this: Companies are unable to scale to keep up with the social phenomenon.

We know that customers are using these social technologies to share their voices, and companies are having a very difficult time to keep up.

  • For companies, real time is not fast enough. Companies need to be able to anticipate what customers are doing to say and do, in order to keep up. Although Motrin responded to angry mom’s within 24 hours—it was too slow.
  • Companies are unable to scale to meet the needs of social. No matter how many community managers Dell and ComcastCares hires to support, they’ll never be able to match the number of customers. They need tools, and they need them now.
  • Customers don’t care what department you’re in they just want their problem fixed. Dooce’s support problem with Maytag quickly became a PR nightmare—had the support group known she was an influencer (and what it means), they could have serviced her better.

As a result, companies will need to tie their customer management tools like CRM to the social Web.

Read this report to find out about the 18 different use cases. Then, prioritize a roadmap based on your needs, and always start with listening.

Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management

View more documents from Jeremiah Owyang.

Note: This post originally appeared in the MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog.

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Jeremiah Owyang is a Web strategist, speaker, and blogger/videoblogger focused on how companies use the Web to connect with customers. He is active on Twitter and can be followed at jowyang; if you follow him, he'll follow you back.