trends

The Benefits of Mobile CRM

Harvey Kaplan
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is aimed at increasing customer value among the people who already have interacted with your company and to create a one-to-one relationship with businesses. It allows you to retain a customer, put the customer in your database and develop a mutually profitable relationship.

Mobile CRM can be defined as adding a mobile remote access or wireless component application to traditional CRM systems. It can't exist without a traditional nonmobile CRM because the mobile CRM relies heavily on underlying CRM data.

Mobile CRM makes it more convenient and efficient for mobile webmasters to interact with customers, taking what previously were web-only applications and applying a mobile plan to them. Adopting this strategy means retooling all of the company's customer-focused activities so that customer interaction with the brand is consistent and the experience is consistently good.

All of us need to start thinking more in terms of customer retention than customer acquisition. We need to focus on personalized services rather than mass marketing and on growing the brand's share of the consumer rather than its market share. It will be up to the individual company to determine its role in the entire experience the customer wants. Because of this, CRM needs to be treated as a strategic function and not just as a technology you're buying.

In CRM terms, this means analyzing the company's current process for gathering data on their surfers, figuring out a strategy and then getting a system integrating vendors. The system has to propose a technology solution that will help in doing the job necessary to gather mobile data on customers entering the site.

Adding this technology on a mobile level to a customer-relationship process that's already well-tuned can take the company to an entirely different level with customers — a level that webmasters never knew they had.

CRM systems are most effective when they are deployed in modules, fixing or improving areas of business quickly so that each module delivers a vast return on the investment. Webmasters should be sure to develop an implementation plan that has regular updates and rapid steps for getting content that comes from archives and to keep the project on track toward their overall goals. Webmasters also should beware of complicating the technology on their sites for technology's sake. This can mean the difference between success and failure.

Based on its potential, will CRM become the next killer application in driving the corporate uptake of mobile and wireless computing devices to smart phones? I think so because the combination of mobile connectivity and CRM software is rapidly rising in the opinions of corporate decision-makers worldwide. Wireless CRM will allow webmasters to maximize their relationships with customers, especially in the areas of faster response times to customer increase and the ability to close a sale faster. As this new technology takes hold among business aggregators instead of systems integrators, it will become more pervasive within the next 12-24 months.

In short, CRM is being touted as the next big thing.

Harvey Kaplan is Executive Vice President of Wireless Development for BustBox Media.

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