Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

SAP Debuts Tool for Social CRM

September 06, 2013

Sales and contact centers know the value of customer relationship management (CRM), and they have for some time. Most of these same organizations are just starting to realize the value and importance of social media as well. It’s a valuable tool for engaging with customers at all points of the customer lifecycle, and it’s critical for a company to understand what its customers, prospects and even competitors are saying about it.

The place where CRM and social media meet is called “social CRM,” and it generates mountains of data. So much data, in fact, that many companies simply don’t know how to begin using it. This is where analytics become critical: they can make sense of a company’s “big data” and turn it into valuable intelligence.

German software giant SAP recently announced the released a new tool designed to analyze social sentiment to augment CRM database profiles. Called Social Contact Intelligence, the new application uses natural-language speech processing and predictive analytics to analyze and identify the sentiment, including likes and dislikes, expressed socially by contacts within a company's CRM database, and from external sources as well. Sales professionals can use the tool to gain deeper insights into customers, allowing them to quickly identify the most influential and relevant contacts at an account. Contact centers can use it to analyze product and service complaints from social channels to proactively identify areas generating problems and make fast changes to alleviate them and prevent larger problems.

The feature is part of SAP's Customer Engagement Intelligence application, which also includes segmentation targeting, customer value analysis to identify cross-selling opportunities and mobile sales tools. SAP’s Customer Engagement Intelligence runs on the company’s flagship HANA in-memory database technology.

Thus far, Social Contact Intelligence is in beta with a select group of SAP customers. One of those companies is HSE24, a large European home shopping retailer.

“We saw an opportunity with SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence to influence our customers’ buying behavior and reduce product return rates,” said Michael Kuenzl, vice president of IT systems at HSE24, in a statement. “Each year, over 11.5 million HSE24 parcels are sent out to our 1.5 million customers, and we estimate that decreasing our return rate by only one percent can lead to 7-digit Euro savings on the bottom line. SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence enables our marketing teams to uncover hidden trends that help drive product returns and build high-precision marketing campaigns to influence customers’ return behavior.”

Edited by Alisen Downey