“Mobile CRM” is a hot topic with my clients. The emergence of ubiquitous high-speed broadband connectivity, smartphones, and tablet devices with enormous computing power and longer battery life, along with increased employee adoption of touchscreen devices in every sphere of life, are all trends that serve to liberate IT from the desktop.
However, the state of mobile CRM solution support is fragmented. While there are platforms and solutions that cater to specific industries, no mobile CRM vendor currently offers out-of-the-box cross-industry functionality. The gap between the functionality available via desktop and mobile CRM applications is far from being bridged. And vendors sometimes adopt a single-device or single operating system (OS) strategy, limiting the range of devices and OSes available to companies.
To help define a path for navigating this complex landscape, I interviewed 25 CRM solution vendors, systems integrators, mobile solutions developers, and user compananies. My findings are summarized in a new report: Best Practices: The Right Way to Implement Mobile CRM.
A guiding principle for getting value out of “mobile” is to look for situations where you can integrate an mobile application into the normal execution of the day-to-day business processes of managers and frontline workers. Here are some additional tips:
Understand the opportunity to improve CRM and drive adoption. For example, will enabling workers to update the CRM system and tasks in real time throughout the day when they’re in the field — rather than doing it once they get back to their desks at the end of the day — make them more productive?
We all know that companies are trying to leverage social channels for customer service. But how can they be deployed in a way that adds value to an organization? Here are my thoughts:
You can’t implement social technologies in a silo within your contact center because you have to be able to deliver a consistent experience across the communication channels you support: voice, the electronic ones, and the social ones. Read my blog post on how you can do this.
Once you get the basics right, you are ready to add social media capabilities. Best practices include:
Start by listening to customer conversations. These conversations can surface general issues with products, services, and company processes. Make sure you create workflows to route surfaced issues to the correct organization so they can be worked on.
Flag and address social inquiries. Understand the general sentiments expressed in these conversations, but also identify specific customer inquiries and route them to the right agent pool for resolution.
Extend your customer service ecosystem with communities. This allows your customers to share information, best practices, and how-to tips with each other, as well as get advice without needing to interact with your agents. But don’t implement them in a technology silo; they should be well-integrated with current contact center processes.
Customer experience is becoming the new currency of business success. If you make quality of experience the centerpiece of your customer relationship management (CRM) strategy, you will be creating a sustainable business asset of substantial value.
Customer experience has qualitative and quantitative returns, as I will discuss next month at Forrester’s Business Process (BP) Forum. For a detailed discussion of customer experience optimization, also take a look at this recent Forrester report that I authored. You can measure the qualitative business return on customer experience in, dare I say it, love. Hopefully, your customers love the multichannel experience you provide, and, as a consequence, seek to deepen and extend the relationship. The concomitant of that is the quantitative return, summed up by a single word: money. If you’re making customers happy, hopefully that translates into sales, profits, renewals, referrals, and other bottom-line boosts.
That’s all well and good, but how can you directly translate love — i.e., quality of experience — into money, measure the impact, and calculate the return on your investment in experience-boosting technologies?
CRM next best action platforms are the key to realizing this promise. CRM next best action environments shape experience through embedded analytics that guide all interactions and offers across all customer-facing channels, processes, and roles. In addition to predictive analytics and business rules management systems, enterprises often incorporate into their next best action initiatives such experience-boosting investments in decision automation, sentiment analysis, conversation management, dynamic case management, knowledge management, and social networking.