Traditionally our interactions with customers and the profiles we create from those interactions have been gathered and managed from within our CRM solution; regardless how well or poorly it was implemented and adopted. If the most diligent processes and efforts were followed, at best “half” of a profile could be achieved. The holy grail of Contact information in CRM has always been a complete and up to date 360’ view. And with the rise of social networks to allow customers to have data about themselves available online and in real time, this looked to be a real possibility.
Then at this year’s Dreamforce, it was announced that with the Winter 12 Release a free feature called Social Contacts would be available! This new feature would allow users to understand their contacts online presence on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, from within SalesForce.com! With Winter 12 released, the ability to have that 360’ is now a reality.
Once the Salesforce.com Administrator enables this feature (Setup-Customize-Social Contacts) theses social icons are made visible on the contact record along with a place for a profile picture that is pulled from a social network site.
Just like Chatter, the Social Contacts settings can be changed both at the user and organization levels. For instance, users can disable a social network if they like. SalesForce.com users will need to login to each of their social networks in order to see the contacts presence on social sites. (This is only needed once, unless you logout of the sites). When a user selects one of the social icons, Salesforce.com automatically does a search so the right name is associated to the contact record and saved across the organization. The users’ level of “connection” with the contact dictates what they can see of their social information. Other SalesForce.com users will have to login into their own social networks in order to see the same contacts information. SalesForce.com does not store the contacts information so privacy and security can be maintained and this leaves only real-time information being accessible.
Once these actions are completed, a SalesForce.com user can begin to use LinkedIn for a quick overview of the contact’s company, title and location. (It should be pointed out that you have to pay $29.95 per month if you want full access to LinkedIn via A SalesForce.com/LinkedIn upgrade.) That was left out of the release notes. Then select Twitter to see what the contact is saying right now and finally check Facebook to see if they are mutual friends with the contact and if any interests or updates have been shared publically. The end result for the Salesforce.com user and organization is an easily accessible and highly insightful 360’ view of their customer!