Lee Bryant on Social CRM as conversations and treating customers as individuals

Lee Bryant, co-founder & director of Headshift, will be talking about an holistic approach to the collaborative enterprise in his keynote at the Enterprise 2. SUMMIT. This is what he told us in advance about his views on the social business design.

1.) Please give us three tags that describe what to expect from your talk.

Socialbusiness, agility, intelligence

2.) Everybody is talking about social business and Social CRM at the moment. What are the key elements for this new phenomenon?

The basic idea of Social CRM is that we can build a much richer, more granular picture of our customers based on their online social interaction, both with the company and with each other. Social CRM is about conversations rather than broadcasting messages, and has the potential to treat customers and potential customers as individuals, rather than audience segments.
However, I think we are only just seeing the outlines of a more interesting future for Social CRM, which involves finding better ways for customers to signal their buying intent or needs and then inviting companies to fulfill those needs. But most companies are a long way off having internal systems and structure to support this way of doing business.

3.) What are the main challenges for extending the internally focused E2.0 approach towards a social business approach?

E2.0 was focused mostly on social technology. Social business is about the other aspects of the challenge of moving towards socially-calibrated business, such as incentives, motivation, behaviour change and (most importantly) a new approach to organisational design based on what we now understand about social dynamics, ecosystem behaviours and the social affordances of new technology.

4.) In what stage are companies at present developing towards a social business design?

I think we are now at the end of the proving stage. Most companies are now using some form of social technology, but few have brought it into the mainstream to change the way they work. The next stage is about mainstreaming the technology, but also about learning the organisational lessons implied by the way it changes our ways of working. Once we begin to crack this, we will have effected a much-needed change in the way the IT function operates within business.

5.) What will the future look like, where does the social business design lead to?

Social business is heading towards smarter, simpler, more social ways of organising business activity, with more emphasis on self-management and initiative and far less on process-based management. This has the potential to dramatically reduce the costs of doing business for large organisations.

6.) What are your expectations for the upcoming Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT?

Great conversations, good learning and exposure to real world examples from across Europe.