Traditionally, businesses have seen themselves existing to serve three main constituencies—in this order—investors, customers, and employees. These businesses optimize around financially-driven metrics to satisfy their investors first (profitability), then customers (revenue) and finally employees (tools to operate business).
Nowadays, progressive companies are undergoing a series of steps in an evolution. Because of the rise of social networks, employees don’t just play a participatory role in Social CRM; they play the pre-eminent role.
And here’s the thing: Success resides in the relationships between companies and their customers, and it’s the agent who is in the middle of that relationship.
Step 1: We’re more connected than ever before
It is impossible for businesses to ignore this trend, as a good or bad customer experience travels farther, faster. Customers talk to each other. Now, instead of just putting the check in the mail, customers are tweeting and blogging and influencing hundreds of others.
Step 2: The Customer Has Become More Powerful
This social shift is putting public pressure on businesses to recognize the value and power of their customer and to reorganize their processes, tools, and focus to emphasize customer satisfaction. This is the next step of evolution in terms of Social CRM and this is how many of today’s business are evolving.
These businesses now recognize that happy customers lead to profit which leads to happy investors. Companies undergoing this transformation now put customers in front of investors and employees. The order of who they serve becomes customers > investors > employees.
Step 3: Employees Are the True Core Asset
The final step of the evolution of Social CRM is when a business recognizes its true core asset: employees. These businesses realize that optimizing their processes, tools, and goals around empowering employees to make decisions, share information and achieve their personal goals, leads to a strong corporate culture and happy employees, which then leads to happy customers and finally happy investors.
For these businesses, serving employees becomes the new world order. The order of who they serve becomes: employees > customers > investors.
Some of the world’s most esteemed and profitable companies—Zappos, Virgin, Southwest and others—have already embraced this employee-first model and are the leaders in their prospective industries.
Empowering satisfied and inspired employees to drive corporate value will be the most profound opportunity for Social CRM. Smart companies will harness this power to drive corporate growth and profitability.