Much To Do About Social CRM

My observations of Social CRM practices and ocurrences; some good, and some not so good.
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Your current and future workforce- Are you ready for them? (Gen) Y not?

posted on August 21, 2013 at 9:14 am



Video of 2013 Georgia Tech Convocation Student (Millennial/GenY) Welcome, one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever witnessed.


 I challenge all businesses to view this inspirational video and ask your company are we ready?


I attended the 2013 Georgia Tech Convocation to see my daughter and others get welcomed into the institution. I constantly opened up presentations on Social Business about my test group of my 3 teenage kids and friends observing them interact, engage and make decisions leveraging the technology provided it is what we all should understand and take notice of.


I presented to Wharton School of Business BA/MBA students in 2009 on what they bring to the workforce and why it is important for companies to embrace this group and their native existence of being connected.


The lessons companies can learn and put into play will be vital to the success and growth of your business.


GenY/Millenials can contribute to this growth by providing the tools and environment to harness, grow and leverage their experiences and expertise. I suggest to keep it simple as well as cool let’s deem them “Mille-Y”


The Consumerization of IT is ever present and engrained in this generation and can excel as well as be an asset to your organizations in several areas:


  1. Devices of choice or Bring your own Device to work for instant efficiency and adoption.
  2. Mobile usage and the understanding of how to get the attention and response from a native mobile group.
  3. Internal collaboration, Yammer, Instant messaging, working together and garnishing the wisdom, direction and collective intelligence created by collaboration.
  4. External collaboration and how to be effective in multi-channel solutions for multi situational decisions to know when to engage, when to listen and what have you learned.
  5. Gamification usage for adoption, learning, motivation and constant need for self and external acknowledgement.


Not only is this generation our future workforce it is our future customers, partners, stakeholders and interchangeable audiences.


Blue chippers are not just in athletic programs and I hope your recruiting efforts have adjusted to the current talent; the success of your organization will depend upon it.




Customer expectations should always be met and sometimes exceeded.

posted on December 17, 2012 at 9:52 am

“We aim to exceed expectations everyday”


I clearly remember reading this quote several years ago in an elevator while traveling and it has always been a concept I often think often about and immediately identified when I experience it.

I thought at the time that I did not expect my expectations of service to be exceeded but I did expect them to be met.

Last week during a business trip I had the pleasure of having my expectations exceeded.


I stayed at a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott last week and was quite pleased at every experience I encountered during my stay. It was the experience captured in the photo above that I can say was one of the most memorable experiences and act of genuine customer service I have ever witnessed.

I was staying a couple of nights so the first morning while getting ready for the day I noticed the vanity light above the sink was out. Okay, maybe partly my fault due to the fact that I leave the bathroom light on during the night. I know what you may think but I keep the light on not out fear per se but fear of forgetting where I am and walking into the wall, trust me, I have done that several timesJ

The sink was also draining slowly so I wrote a note and left it on the counter. Upon my return that evening when I walked into the bathroom the above note was taped to the mirror.

Wow…..Wow….Wow….was all I could say. I never met Scoett (maint) but really was hoping to run into him but I did sit down and filled out in detail the customer comment card emphatically thanking him not so much for doing his job by showing exceedingly pride and personal accountability in his actions.

I speak often of the People, Process and Technology components of Customer Relationship Management and it is apparent that too much emphasis is placed on technology to power process, to enable and empower people.

If every business could capture the Scoett Method by leveraging the talents of their people to:

  • Seek up repeatable best practices in their organization by involving their people in determining what is working, what is not.
  • To empower and enable those best practices into everyday processes in all channels of customer interactions.
  • Leverage technology to make it repeatable as well as a scalable.

This approach and execution will lead to meeting and exceeding the expectations of your current and future customer base.


Thank you Scoett!!

Who will win the Super Engagement Bowl 2012?

posted on February 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Today Super Bowl XLVI will be front and center. The anticipation of the game, the commercials and half-time show discussions will not have to wait for the Monday morning water cooler and news print anointment of who garnished the most praise, criticism or innovation but which one was the most engaging.

Buzz is always been a large part of the strategy for Super Bowl in advertising but Social Media delivers the ability to enable share of voice that now span oceans instead of water coolers instantaneously!

I will of course look forward to the game as well as commercials but really want to chime in on the most engaging commercials not just for the game but follow the engagements to find out the real ROI for the companies involved, the proverbial “so what?”

Trending, hashtagging, sharing, comments, likes and such are fleeting but in the end how did all of this raise the bar of the sponsors and result in more bottom line activity after of course after the very pricey ads are subtracted out.

The true question will rest upon will the ads be just talked about or acted upon?

I wonder will there be a “Super Gamification” within the game?

Will sponsors have to also compete with the ability for players to participate and will that will be leveraged?

As much as I am a football fan I am equally a fan of how many people like myself will watch it on the new vernacular of “split screens and devices” and in the moment play by play of the commercials and game.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts at the global water cooler.

Rip Van Winkle awakens to chat up CRM Adoption

posted on January 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

I just realized that my last post was June 2010 and writing this I am feeling a lot like Rip Van Winkle. Let’s say I have been asleep that long and let’s say that I have awaken to see on my calendar I have been asked to participate on a webcast on CRM Adoption. (Shameless Plug)

After researching and trying to cram as much information as I could to appear credible I quickly realized that there was not anything too earth shattering that I did not know the summer of 2010 but I did uncover quite a bit to aid me in feeling comfortable discussing this topic. My reference to comfort is the advent of technology that actually stands to finally benefit the users.

The ever present conversations about CRM user adoption I do not think will ever really change but there has been ground gained in making it an easier conversation and actionable results in a shorter time frame. There has been lessons learn on who needs to be involved in this conversation from the decision on the solution to how it will be implemented, rolled out and measured.

What I discovered:

  • The internet has changed the rules, it is not so much of a CRM user managing their prospects and customers but more of the user managing their approach, preparation and access to the information they need internally and externally for an audience that controls the conversations.
  • The ability to do their jobs without leveraging multiple applications, spending a lot of their time merging or migrating data multiple times during the day basically anywhere, anything, 24/7 is truly possible.
  • The comfort knowing that the data they track can be easily shared up the ladder and back down in easy graphical dashboards and reports. In other words keep their leaders off their backs as well as colorful diagrams easily understood by the smallest of brains (mine)
  • That if they are typing challenged (like me) there is voice recognition, handwriting recognition, touch and tap technology to leverage. Can I get an amen?!!
  • That there is no longer the need to go offline and spend hours synchronizing by having to VPN in. Even on an airplane….hmm…grrrrrr….
  • The ability to access this data via device of choice.
  • Going back to the first bullet I can pull in external internet buzz and leverage internal conversations as well eliminating a large portion of the 200+ e-mails received in a day? GET OUT!

Okay so I would really think I was still in REM mode and dreaming but in reality this is all possible today. Well, let me reframe that last sentence, the technology is there but the people and process components are still required. The value add of today’s technology is that all of the people involved end up with what they need in the end to do their jobs.

It was also clearly revealed that the economic state we are in would squeeze the adoption grip even tighter. The need to keep the customers you currently have would be in play equally as important as attaining new customers. The ability to service your current customers who can instantly voice their discontent that new customers with uncover will no doubt affect a prospects decision. The need to quickly access your data to react in a timely and effective way will drive adoption to keep your job and the lights on. Adapt or fail is on the same level of adopt or fail.

I look forward to participating in the webcast conversation knowing that the technology limitations, ease of use and access challenges have matured, I can only hope that the maturation of people working together and the capture of repeatable success driven processes will make it a much easier conversation.

Okay, now I need a nap!

” What is your “Uh Oh SpaghettiO” Online Strategy?

posted on June 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

There is an urban definition to the phrase “Uh-Oh Spaghetti-O”, that I will leave it to you to research but it could have some significance on the latest recall of 15,000,000 pounds of the popular “SpaghettiOs” canned products due to under-processing. I do not think it will totally destroy the brand but it will put doubt in consumer’s minds when they pass it in the grocery aisles. It will cast some shadow of concern with other products under the Campbell Soup Brand.

So accidents happen and will continue to happen but companies have to implement a proactive approach to damage control and information dissemination.

So the approach Campbell Soup Brand has currently is the norm, give the Establishment Number “EST 4k” and a “Use By date between June 2010 and December 2011” manufactured between 2008 and June 2010? Uh-Oh! That literally opens up a lot of speculation in my mind. Good to know that it was discovered through a routine but is that like a random drug test? Gulp!

There is also a (866)495-3774 Campbell’s Hotline and a number to the company’s Director of Corporate Communications, really? Good luck with that!

Companies today have to anticipate and implement a Social Media plan to deal with this type of issue, not just when something like this happens but as an ongoing strategy. Look at the latest online buzz and trending today to understand how fast this moves. I can assure you that it will move much faster than a toll free line interactions. Online is “TOLL FREE” and not controlled by the company.

Here are a couple of ways situations like this can be addressed in Social Media Channels.

  • The fastest and most effective method of communication is online, know where your industry, brand and competition conversations are happening through social media monitoring.
  • Implement ways to listen and engage this audience on an ongoing basis just not in crisis mode.
  • Have a strategy and crisis team ready to address incidents fueled by knowing where to place information online and the channels of distribution.
  • Leverage Twitter, YouTube and other Social Media Channels to educate, distribute and mitigate the brushfire mentality ASAP.
  • Integrate into your website and all channels of marketing, sales and support.
  • Be prepared to listen and learn from the good, bad and indifferent response to regain trust and subsequent communication with your audience.

Again, accidents happen but in this online age we are firmly implanted in having a plan to know your online presence, using the intelligence to reach out to this audience during the good and bad times will further extend their trust, loyalty and advocacy.

Beanie Weenie are you listening?

A personal case of Social CRM; it is about time!

posted on April 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a “watchaholic” especially watches with a lot of cool features; It ‘s really bad but not bad enough for me to crash my S2000 (My Escalade) into a tree and fire hydrant while claiming to back out my driveway nor do I need to check into a clinic in Mississippi to help me overcome this addiction.

My latest escapade drew several lines to what is constantly being discussed in the definitions of Social CRM. This is not about defining it but more of my personal experience and how it depicts how the Social Audience (prospects, leads, customers, partners suppliers) interact with brands. Actually, I will put the Social Audience this context; anyone along the lines of a “stakeholder” that a company depends on for its success.

In the Social Audience, it is about me and my actions are a true depiction of what  2006 Time Magazine’s Person of the Year: You or in this particular case me and my experience relates to “Social CRM.” The point to remember is just because the audience has a perceived ownership of the a conversation it does not me companies cannot be a part of it but they have to constantly listen and know when to engage. There still has to be a solid foundation of traditional CRM as Paul Greenberg’s post a few weeks back expressed in Blocking and Tackling: Not Football, CRM.

So here is my experience and process of Social CRM shared with you in the CRM foundational manner based on a Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS watch ( Black with Red Stripe) I received this week.

My intent it to follow along the traditional CRM approach with a “Social CRM” point of view to explain ways companies can leverage multiple channels and integrate into their own People, Process and Technology Strategy.

Follow me ok?


  1. I saw the watch in an ad in Runner’s World magazine several weeks ago on the latest Garmin GPS running watch and there was a link given for more information.
  2. I went to site where I learned about the features and images of the watch; the only hitch for me was it would not be released for purchase until the end of this month.
  3. I set up a Google Alert to track all that was being discussed about the watch pre, during and post launch in anxious anticipation of owning one.
  4. I received a number of daily alerts that I had to sift through on articles, blogs, and comparisons to their current line and competitor watches.


  1. Through the alerts I went through the process of determining my own “Sentiment” which came out to be a positive one.
  2. The opportunity to view multiple images and the ability to read blog posts from writers who were given early access to the watch and forum chatter further enticed my intent to purchase.
  3. There were also several videos explaining the use, set up and functionality which steadily added to my confidence in the choice to purchase. I was also able to download a pdf of the user manual.
  4. My next step was to find who would carry it, how reputable the dealer would be and what was the best price on it I could find.
  5. I went through all of the due diligence and purchased it through a site RoadRunner Sports that I had been a sporadic customer of for a number of years which also gave me a nice VIP discount.


  1. Initial support that I needed was more of how to set up the watch and synch it with a My Garmin Connect website that allowed me to upload via USB all of my workouts for a visual map and graph of my route and time, pace, distance as well as heart rate.
  2. At the site Garmin also pointed me to a Plug-in that would allow me to use the online tracking.
  3. I signed up, and synchronized without any problems and I reviewed the FAQ about the device and set-up.

I took my first run with the watch and I must say that it exceeded all of my expectations. It had unbelievable accuracy and ease of use.

I have described my experience but wanted to also share with you some ideas or lessons learned that companies can instill in their strategies to extend their traditional CRM strategy in the Social Realm.

Too many companies look at Social Media as being a separate entity but as I always say you cannot have a conversation or strategy pertaining to traditional CRM that does not have a Social angle.

If you look closer you will also see that the Marketing, Sales and Support lanes are all intertwined and lean on each other in sort of a full circle process. There is a large amount of crossover in those lanes can point and speak to the Social Audience.

While I had a very good experience I wanted to add some feedback to help companies further extend as well as connect their Social Strategy.

Lessons that can further enhance the experience:

  • Garmin could benefit by adding a specific lead source code, or Mobile Text component to further connect, engage and segment their audience because the Social Audience is also a Mobile Audience. I see so many magazine ads that only give a website, usually in small print. Audiences have the ability, desire and tools to engage instantly.
  • By adding the above it the effectiveness and ROI of the ad as well as instantly engagement for current and subsequent campaigns and communications.
  • Do not force your audience to drink all of the online data through a fire hose of information; provide them a straw through precise Social Media Monitoring tools and practices.
  • As you can see I have become an advocate and potential influencer, will Garmin find me? How do you find your brand influencers? Because of my satisfaction I will want to share my thoughts and ideas with others.
  • I tweeted about ordering my watch and used the wording Garmin Forerunner 110 looking for an early engagement and did not receive any response. Companies need to leverage the power of Twitter, if someone has a problem which could be instant frustration or questions most will express it via Twitter. Are you monitoring this chatter? Can you engage?
  • Integrate your marketing, sales and support channels through Twitter to engage your audience and invoke an early alert process to Marketing, Sales and Support inquiries.

If you are not looking at your current strategy and drawing Social CRM lines to all people, processes and technology you are not being effective in the conversations and engagements required to grow and maintain your Social Audience.

It is now time for me to run and feed my addiction.

The launch of Social Strategy1, managed Social Media Monitoring and Strategy Services

posted on April 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm

“To Listen closely and reply well is the highest perfections we are able to attain in the art of conversation”

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

I had the opportunity last year to facilitate some sessions with The Wharton School of Business BA and MBA classes on the topic of Social Media meet CRM. This lead to an invite to be a panelist at The Wharton Interactive Media Initiative sharing the stage with Eric Bradlow, Co-Director of Wharton Interactive Media Initiative and Professor of Marketing, Statistics, and Education at Wharton and Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics.

It was at that event that I was introduced to Mike Lewis, graduate of Wharton and ILD Corp Chairman and Dennis Stoutenburgh,  ILD Corp President. We sat down and expanded the panel discussion on the impact of Social Media and the leveraging of the collective voices of the social audience to align a company’s Social CRM strategy and online reputation through monitoring these conversations. ILD Corp. had spent quite a bit of time and resources on this type of initiative and had experienced a great deal of success as well as a solid case study on improving their online reputation and engagement policies.

Armed with this experience I have been working with ILD Corp. on taking their case study and creating a managed Social Media monitoring and strategy solution as a service. The purpose was to combine ILD Corps’ expertise and strategy to other companies wanting to have real-time social media monitoring with Online Reputation Management.

Social Strategy1 was launched this week to provide this service. It provides experienced Social Media Listening Analysts (SMLA) to work with your Marketing, Sales and Support staff to monitor keywords and phrases on your brand to listen, learn and engage in online conversations on behalf of a company’s engagement strategy.

Partnering with Radian6, a leading platform for social media listening and engagement solution coupled with Social Strategy1 managed services can be a valued and much needed solution for companies managing and engaging their online voice.

Econsultancy’s piece on Reputation management to grow in popularity, further expresses the need for companies to implement this type service for their online strategy.

“No man ever listened himself out of a job”  Calvin Coolidge

Ron Kent Galon (Let us not forget that community can be just around the corner, literally)

posted on March 1, 2010 at 11:29 am

I feel like  a hypocrite.

I am constantly speaking as well as writing about community, how technology has enabled us to expand our reach by finding, creating and staying in touch with people all over the world. My last blog post was about someone in Australia I had never met that taught all that followed her how to live while dying of cancer.

Yesterday I attended the memorial service of a neighbor,  physically around the corner from my house that passed away last week from a lingering heart condition.

I saw Ron a lot driving through the neighborhood in his MGB-GT or his van with the SCUBA stickers on the back. I always waved and smiled as I did yardwork or hung out at the pool with the kids.

I read on the memorial program that he was a private person. For those who know me would not come close to thinking I am just as private. While my smiles are genuine I tend to keep to myself at home. It is even sort of a joke that my wife called me a “closet introvert” because overall I am a very engaging guy but do prefer my solitude.

With that said I wish I had gotten to know Ron Kent Galon more. Yes, he was older than me but I learned yesterday we both shared a passion for water, SCUBA diving, sport cars, reading history and jazz music. We had so much we could have discussed.

For some reason I think he knew the common interest we shared was solitude and our smiles and waves were enough. I do not think either of us could fake any of those gestures.

Technology is nice, Social Networking is nice and it has opened up so many different ways of meeting, sharing and experiences to most of us but not at the expense of the physical community that we can truly reach out and touch.

I am thankful that our path’s did cross because it has been another lesson learned that reminds me as I preach that “People” are the biggest component and while technology can enable, empower and extend nothing can over power the process from human connection and the genuine power of a wave and smile.

I will miss you Ron Kent Galon.

When I see you again I will surely sit down and chat.

It’s not always about Business….

posted on December 8, 2009 at 8:27 pm

JENI lost a friend today; cancer took her away and her name was Jenni (Jen). I was introduced to her in February of 2008 at at Social Networking Event called SOCON 08.

I think it was Stephanie Roberts, a fantastic person, photographer with a super moral conscious that introduced Jen’s blog about her courageous battle with colon cancer called The Comfy Place. I followed Jen’s blog for close to 2 years reading about her life, her struggles but mostly her courage and love for people. I knew this day was coming and everyday I visited her site to read about what was going on in her life. I learned about her fears, her love for her young son Jack as well as how her ex husband David gave her key assurances that Jack would be well taken care of when it would be her time to go.

I never met Jen because she lived in Australia but I witnessed the power of the internet and Social Media by connecting hundreds of readers and supporters who share with me the common bond of caring. I left several comments and felt comfort in knowing she would read all of them or have someone read them reassuring her that she was never alone.

I know in my industry we get so caught up in the business side of Social Media and the ROI that we sometimes forget the ROC (Return on Caring) that it can present.

The ability to thrive on the strength of many, the love and care of the multitude is evident that we are connected by more than technology.

RIP Jen, you have touched and taught many what is truly important as well how valuable the gift of life really can be.

I will miss you and thank you for reminding us all what true living is all about.


“Mobile Marketing: Your Strategy AND Compliance Toolbox”

posted on December 4, 2009 at 5:24 pm


A First Of Its Kind Webinar!

This unique Webinar explains how to effectively blend mobile into your marketing strategy — and also explores the legal issues that must be addressed for fully compliant campaigns.

Our fast-paced Webinar will cover:

How to engage consumers on  their terms

The how, what & why of effective mobile marketing strategy

How to blend mobile marketing into your current strategies

The differences between SMS & MSCM message rules

How to determine if your SMS program is legal

PLUS — all attendees will receive a compliance checklist and a marketing strategy checklist

Space is limited, so register now!

Join CompliancePoint & New Fire Social Media for this informative Webinar

Mobile Marketing: Your Strategy & Compliance Toolbox

Tues, December 15, 2009

TIME: 2 pm EST

Webinar Presenters:

Ken Sponsler,
Vice President & General Manager, CompliancePoint

Michael W. Thomas,
Director of Social CRM Strategy, New Fire Social Media

The Webinar will last about 1 hour.

For more information, please call

(800) 585-4888 x1040 or e-mail

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