I have written about Zoho CRM before, and also about basic capabilities to track social network profiles without any customization. Zoho is more than this, here we see more advanced social capabilities that can be enabled in the application. For this you need at least the Professional Edition of Zoho CRM – social capabilities here go beyond enabling conversation with individual contacts.
Setup of Zoho CRM for Facebook and Twitter
Go to ‘Social’ tab in Zoho CRM for the setup tasks.
If this is the first time you are clicking on the tab, you can click ‘Get Started’ to go to the setup page. You will then setup the Facebook or Twitter ids that will be used by the organization or individuals.
For Twitter, you are all set once the Twitter id is setup. For Facebook, you will need to setup a Facebook page before you can start using Zoho Social fully. You can setup multiple ids and select more than one page against a profile. For each profile you can specify whether it can be used by everyone or authorizes users with specific roles (e.g. administrators, managers).
Monitoring Social Conversations in Zoho CRM
Once you are done with the setup, return to the ‘Social’ link in the tab at the top of Zoho CRM application. Now you can see side-by-side windows of social conversations for all the profiles setup in the previous step. You can also setup status of Facebook or Twitter from here.
The Social window in Zoho enables real-time tracking of posts, tweets, and thereby enabling monitoring of brand value and an ability to respond to conversations. This enables taking relationship to the customer’s platform, rather than the other way around.
You can see the tweets, Facebook posts, and take action on them. For example, you can retweet or reply to tweets, ‘like’ or ‘comment’ on posts
There is one more valuable functionality here. You click on the ‘Magnifying Glass’ icon in the Social screen to view a search column. Here you can search for topics of interest that you are interested to follow, resolve or monitor.
The “Not So Good” Parts
Well, the social conversations are all there. And, so is the capability to take action. But it is not intelligent and as integrated in the CRM product as it can be. An example – you see a complaint by one of your customers and want your team to act on it. What you typically do in real life is to first monitor the conversation, pick the right conversation and then process. To process, you need to copy all the relevant text to an Activity or Service, and assign that to your team. Once it is resolved and if you want to respond through the same channel, you repeat the task in reverse. Not a fantastic experience I would say.
How would I change that?
Well, the below is only a wish list. But sadly, it is true for most of the CRM-Social Media integrations out there.
- Integrate seamlessly with social media monitoring platforms that also help to make sense of the conversations
- Have text analytics to directly assign owners for key conversations. These conversation owners have to seamlessly monitor those conversations as well as activities within the CRM system
- Integrate social tools with not only contacts, but everywhere. Similar to Notes enabled for Contacts, the Social conversations can have context to the latest potential, lead or request for service. Tagging conversations also helps here to a large extent
Some of these or all may already be present in some form or the other, or possible to achieve through custom applications. More on that in a later post.