CRM, branding, service and social media

What a great week! I started work with my colleagues atThe Customer Framework , on a project focused on the CRM capabilities of a large UK company.


In the background, I'm working with the TCF guys on an exploration of the relationship between branding, CRM, customer service and social media. Next term at Exeter University I'm teaching a Master's module in Brand Communication, so I'm taking this as an opportunity to explore how to translate the languages of CRM and branding into each other, influenced by new developments in social media, and customers' needs not just for a good product or service experience, but also for good post-purchase service and, in the event of failure, good recovery.


I'm finding it interesting that the literature (whether academic, consulting or from people in the industry) tend to diverge (into its areas of, for example, service, complaints management, branding). Yet from the customer's point of view, it's all part of the same story - how they talk (or want to talk) to the brand and its owners, and how the latter want to identify and talk to customers.


Neil Woodcock, Chairman of TCF, and I (and of course the rest of the TCF team) are starting work on a publishing project designed to update thinking on customer management, to integrate it with branding, customer service and social media work. This will be a rolling project over 2011 (well, we have to work to earn a living as well, and it takes time to do a job like this properly!), so I'll be posting some of the themes in this blog.

And all this is in addition to my other big projects - risk and compliance in financial services and environmental compliance, as well as a bid in Denmark. So the next few weeks are prime writing time for me, even, I'm afraid, over the festive season. Meanwhile, however, a Merry Xmas to everyone and I hope you get more time off than I'm going to have! And if you get time to think aboiut branding, CRM and social media, please do respond......