Customer engagement, social CRM and cool tools for professional services firms – Interview with Mark Bower

Zuwachs in der iFamily

Today’s interview is with Mark Bower, co-founder and CTO of CubeSocial, who are developing and have launched some cool products in the social CRM and customer engagement space, particularly for professional service firms.

This interview follows on the back of last week’s interview: Employee engagement is a commitment not a campaign – Interview with Stan Phelps and is number fifty-eight in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things and helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.

Here’s the highlights from the interview I did with Mark:

  • Mark is a co-founder of a technology start-up that is developing social and customer engagement software and apps, specifically for professional services firms.
  • The reason behind this is because they believe that this area has not really developed at the same pace as other industries and is ripe for change.
  • CubeSocial is their first product and is a social CRM product for professional services firms like accountants, lawyers or management consultancies.
  • Mark explains that like Outlook is the gateway and gatekeeper for emails in corporates, CubeSocial is the equivalent for those firms when it comes to social media.
  • The difference between CRM systems and social CRM systems is that old CRM systems deal with static data and social CRM systems deal with dynamic data.
  • The locus of control in business has shifted away from business to customers and clients and many firms are still realising, catching up and amending how they do things, deal with and treat customers.
  • Where we are going with social CRM is that products will be able to alert us of changes that happen in our clients and/or employees profiles etc. An intelligent ‘tap’ on the shoulder as it were. Some of this type of functionality is already being built into CubeSocial.
  • Their vision is that CubeSocial, or something like it, should sit on the desktop of every person in a professional services firm so everyone is involved in the development of the client relationship.
  • Working with professional services firms has shown, and is showing increasingly, that customer service and the customer experience is not just about a firms technical ability but is about the whole experience and that is a big challenge for many firms.
  • HonestyBoxx is the latest addition to their portfolio that helps professionals and professional service firms (i.e. anyone who sells their expertise) offer bite sized chunks of advice to potential clients. Nb. You can see it below this post as I’m trialling it on my blog. By the way, it’s free too.
  • It works on the honesty box principle where potential clients offer to pay what they think something is worth and it is for the professional or firm to agree to that fee for that small piece of advice.
  • Helps firms avoid a lot of free advice seekers and can help generate more income, build new relationships and credibility with clients that may be put off getting in touch with a firm by the expectation of high fees and long contracts.
  • Grab a copy of CubeSocial’s “Brilliant at the Basics of Social Media” E-book here.

About Mark (taken and adapted from his CubeSocial bio)

Mark Bower CubeSocial

Mark is the co-founder and CTO of CubeSocial. He is a social software veteran, having spent the last 10 years working with pioneering companies in social media and social networking.

As a former Lead Program Manager at Microsoft, Mark has worked with a host of FTSE-100 clients, and has a proven track record in designing and developing social media strategies and solutions for business that deliver enormous efficiency and financial benefits.

You can find out more about CubeSocial at their website (cubesocial.com), connect with Mark @markbower and CubeSocial @CubeSocial on Twitter and check out HonestyBoxx at their website (honestyboxx.com) and on Twitter @HonestyBoxxApp too.

Finally, do grab a copy of CubeSocial’s “Brilliant at the Basics of Social Media” E-book here.

Photo Credit: Freimut via Compfight cc

Comments

  1. I would say that market power has not just shifted to customers, it has shifted to social media users.
    General social media sites like Digg or niche social networks like Bizsugar are now setting the benchmarks on which present and future business should build their marketing efforts.
    Developing an innovative social media solution like CubeSocial can prove to be a great advantage for businesses aiming to intensify and optimize their social media strategies and get maximum results.

    • Thanks for your comment. I think you are right that how companies respond to customers on social media will go a long way to define how they are viewed and talked about.

  2. A very clever idea.

    I guess the question is what do you do with the information once you have it.

    Might have posted this link before Adrian, but worth a look at how KLM have used social media as part of their CRM solution.

    James

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqHWAE8GDEk

    • Hi James,
      That’s a great video and thank you for sharing it. It shows what a bit of application, creative thinking and the use of social CRM techniques can have a huge impact for how a firm is viewed and talked about. Nice!

      It reminds me of something that Gary Vaynerchuk said when I interviewed him (http://www.adrianswinscoe.com/blog/customer-service-people-and-how-caring-does-scale-interview-with-gary-vaynerchuk-1adayqanda/). He said:
      “People often talk about how people and service doesn’t ‘scale’, especially on social media. However, Gary doesn’t necessarily agree with that and is more focused on using money in your business where it will generate returns. For example: rather than spending $3 million on a Superbowl ad why not hire 60 people at $50k a year to deliver better service on Twitter or other social media channels or give this budget to an agency to deliver it for you.”

      Looks like KLM has put something like this into action.

      Adrian

Speak Your Mind

*