I recently came across a plug-in for Gmail called Rapportive which I think is a great step in the right direction for Social CRM. In the past, when I send or receive emails from people, I have often wished that there was some sort of automatic way for me to find out where that person exists in the social web and to see what conversations that person is involved in. For example, it would be great to see if that person has a Twitter or LinkedIn account that I could access directly from my email. Well, now I can. Here’s an email interaction I had with Jeremiah Owyang and how Rapportive integrates with that email.
Rapportive integrates directly into Gmail and all of the information sits to the side of the email window. From this screenshot, you can see that the email message on the left hand side and all of Jeremiah’s information is on the right. In this example, I can see exactly what company Jeremiah is affiliated with, where he exists online, his geo-location, and I can also add a little note about Jeremiah to help me remember a particular conversation or point of interest. See that little arrow next to “superbowlads?” If I click on it, I get a stream of Jeremiah’s most recent tweets. For those of you that know Jeremiah though, you will recognize that his Twitter account is incorrect as is his current company of employment (he currently works at Alimeter and his Twitter ID is @jowyang) demonstrating that Rapportive is definitely not perfect yet, but it is a step in the right direction.
Rapportive says they allow for custom integrations which I have absolutely no idea how to get to or use. However, in the near future, they will be integrating with several paid services such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, MailChimp, UserVoice, Eventbrite, and Zendesk, just to name a few. I think this should make for a killer tool once it’s completely launched and integrated with some of the other platforms out there. I’m actually very interested to see what this is going to look like.
Imagine if a company such as Amazon, eBay, or Best Buy would be able to automatically collect all of this information every time a customer purchases something from their site (unless they do already which I doubt) or contacts their customer service and support department via email. What if this data (along with the little note I add) integrated directly into a company CRM system and was able to automatically segment customers? I see a lot of potential for what Rapportive is doing.
I encourage all of you to check out Rapportive and give it a shot. Let me know what you think. I personally find the tool extremely useful.