September 21, 2014

Batchbook and HootSuite Integration: View Social Media Activity and Customer Contacts Together

Ever feel as if all your social media interactions with customers are in one universe, and all your customer contact information is in an alternate universe — never to come together?  Batchbook doesn’t think that is a good way for businesses to work.  The company just announced a new integration with HootSuite, aiming to let you to see contact information and social media interactions with your clients, in one spot.

Batchbook is a customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for small businesses to manage their contact information with customers and clients.  Like other new breeds of CRM applications, the company terms itself “social CRM.”

That means, Batchbook recognizes that interactions today with customers may involve a social element.  A client may have connected with one of your key staff on LinkedIn, and expects you to be aware of that.  If you’ve had a conversation with the client on Twitter, you are going to want to know that the next time you communicate. And so on.

How the Integration Works

According to Batchbook, the benefit of the integration with HootSuite is that your business will get  more insights into social activity with clients and other important stakeholder contacts. It you’re a HootSuite user, you can use it to update and monitor social media accounts. You’ll now also be able to see customer contact information from the Batchbook CRM system within the HootSuite dashboard, and interact with the Batchbook system there.

batchbook hootsuite

The image above shows a Batchbook contact page on the left and the HootSuite dashboard on the right.

The Batchbook app is available in HootSuite’s app directory.  Once you add the app, you can edit contact details from your Batchbook account directly from within the HootSuite dashboard. You can even add tweets or Facebook posts from HootSuite into your Batchbook records.

Need to find contact details for a client who just mentioned your business in a tweet?  Want to find the last interaction you had with a customer who recently posted a question on your business’s Facebook wall?  Those kinds of activities are now something you can do in one spot.

The advantage, according to Batchbook’s CEO Pamela O’Hara, is that your team will have more context for customer  interactions.  Your team then can make communications more personalized.  In turn, customers are more likely to feel that they are actually being heard, instead of just receiving a canned response.

An Industry in Transition: Customers EXPECT You to Know All Interactions

Batchbook is not the only provider moving toward bringing together various types of customer communications — social media, email marketing, and contact records — into one place.  Over the past 24 months we’ve seen a number of mergers/acquisitions, partnerships and product enhancements announced among providers in the email marketing, CRM and social media tools space.

The line between such tools is blurring. It’s no coincidence.  The end customer is changing his/her/its behavior.  Businesses have to respond.

Simply put, today some customers expect to interact with companies on social media. For instance, customers are getting used to using Twitter as a way to raise customer service questions.

Socially-aware businesses recognize that to serve their customers properly, they need quick access to the entire picture — not just one slice of the interactions. Data  marooned by itself in other systems doesn’t help.

So why did Batchbook choose to integrate with HootSuite and not simply re-create that functionality in Batchbook?  For one thing, it’s hard to pull users away from tools they already know and love.  HootSuite has 5+ million users worldwide and is already popular with small businesses.

Notes O’Hara:

“We use HootSuite ourselves at Batchbook and are huge fans of the easy social media communication and collaboration it allows us. We see the HootSuite social media management platform as a very personal way to engage in social conversations. Our social CRM is all about less contacts and deeper relationships.”

O’Hara added that Batchbook will consider a partnership with any app or tool that can help businesses engage in more personal conversations with customers and other contacts.

Batchbook, which is based in Providence, Rhode Island, first launched 2006.  It currently has tens of thousands of active accounts.

13 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

13 Reactions

  1. Must have been on the same wavelength. I wrote an article for Practical Ecommerce that will be published this week on social CRM tools and mentioned Batchbook. Nimble also integrates with Hootsuite.

  2. Hi Anita and Paul,
    You reminded me that I probably need to refresh my look at the work Nimble is doing, too… http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/05/social-inbox-review-nimble-crm.html

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