Outsourcing Providers May Go Social to Win More Business

Ann All

Back in September I shared some of Web Strategy blogger Jeremiah Owyang's thoughts regarding social CRM, including his contention that companies would be challenged in their efforts to offer support in a growing number of social channels and his prediction that we'll see more tools to connect call systems, knowledge boards and customer databases with the public Web.


Both of those trends, taken together, point to what could be an opportunity for outsourced service providers, as Harish Kotadia writes on the Customer Think blog. He suggests they could capitalize on it by offering six key services:

  • Development of engagement platforms and communities
  • Integration of "traditional" CRM applications with social CRM functionality for a fuller view of customers
  • Master data management, which Kotadia notes is a "major issue" in CRM projects that becomes an even bigger deal with social CRM
  • Social media monitoring, reporting and analytics
  • Creation of brand-specific social media content
  • Social network analysis


He notes that one provider, Affiliated Computer Services, recently took "a step in the right direction" by launching "Community as a Strategy"-a suite of social CRM services that captures customer insights from social media sites to improve service and responsiveness of organizations.


Kotadia says it could be an especially meaningful opportunity for lower-cost IT and BPO service providers to introduce value-added services and boost their revenue and margins.


In late 2008, I cited an E-Commerce Times article that made essentially the same point but from a customer rather than a provider's view, that social media efforts, including social CRM, could be a good candidate for outsourcing. It's obviously a still-nascent area undergoing frequent change and is not a core competency for most companies. Unlike Kotadio, the article seemed to suggest that social media experts, rather than generalist service providers, might be the best option.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 4, 2010 12:29 PM Sshah Sshah  says:

Hi Ann.  I agree with you on service providers focusing on social media skills.  There is a rising demand for this, especially when more businesses are making their presence known online.  This is a new niche for many freelancers to take advantage of. 


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