The spread of broadband has made internet ubiquitous and provided people with a platform that is so powerful that all other media channels have been forced to take cognizance of it. Businesses too have been affected by the wave of what is termed Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 is essentially a phenomenon in which different information channels on the net are made available for the dissemination of information and ideas. The whole setup is democratic and regulated by a community approach. This leads to the generation of high trust levels amongst users.
These attributes of Web 2.0 have made it an attractive proposition for businesses who view it as a great CRM tool to be used in conjunction with the more traditional CRM applications. Web 2.0 is essentially the voice of the customers; this means that brand building is no longer exclusively in the hands of marketing managers. Customers have a say in these matters and their opinion not only counts but reaches out far and wide, influencing buying decisions of prospective customers. A couple of bad reviews for a product or service can undo all the good work that marketers have spent months executing.
Of course, there are tremendous positives too. Web 2.0 has thrown up social networks that are a tremendous opportunity for businesses to attract customer attention, make them aware of what’s new with their business and solicit their views. Web-based surveys and forums provide almost real-time responses and inputs and these can be used to set things right. This saves costs when you are in the early stages of a marketing or promotion campaign.
Two important attributes of using Web 2.0 for your CRM efforts are that Web 2.0 gives you an opportunity to present your brand at a very different level and yet allows you to maintain consistency with your existing brand image; secondly it is not a very major departure from existing CRM activities, it is a perfect complement for the CRM work that you are carrying out through other channels.