I was having a bit of a bad day yesterday. My Comcast internet connectivity was spotty, and Webex had a blip and did not allow me to speak on a very well attended webcast I was hosting.

After getting frustrated with these events – I did what any social media geek does when annoyed – I tweeted. While I expected the usual “Comcast cares” Twitter users (as described in Paul Greenberg’s latest version of CRM at the Speed of Light) to reply – I was surprised that Webex very quickly replied to my snarky tweets with an offer to help.

But what followed – in my opinion – showed the importance of having strong core CRM and tight escalation rules to supplement a twitter-based support team.

It was nice to get a response from the Webex Twitter handle – asking about my issues – and I responded. While the actions did placate my anger, my issue fell into the common “Twitter vacuum:” I never heard back from that account again. However, “ComcastBonnie” friended me, asked for some account credentials and came back shortly with a direct message explaning that there was an area issue and it was being worked on. Swell.

The point? To bring Paul Greenberg back into it – the “blocking and tackling” of CRM is as important as ever even as we discover new channels and processes to both sell to and support customers. I am not saying Cisco/Webex has a bad CRM system in place – I just did not see strong CRM 101 in place during the Twitter exchange.

I am often asked how we see SugarCRM as a social CRM tool – what “makes us a social CRM product,” etc. My answer is always that we specialize in the core CRM, but provide simple tools and the flexibility to add ANY channel to core CRM to make an intuitive and valuable approach to social CRM. I do believe that for most businesses – this is key. Brand monitoring, deep relationship analysis and inbox analysis – all cool stuff for sure. But when it comes to simply being able to reach prospects and customers – and either provide them relevant information or a delightful experience – core CRM can not be forgotten.