Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is becoming increasingly important to organisations success and competitive advantage by enabling both sales and marketing departments to meet their client’s requirements more effectively. CRM has merged with technology for sometime in the form of specialist software designed for business use. However, with mobile devices becoming increasingly prominent in every day life, the latest progression for CRM is the transition to CRM on the go, or mobile CRM.
What is mobile CRM?
The concept of mobile CRM is the same as CRM in the office but with the advantage of enabling a workforce to benefit from CRM access when ‘on the road’. Employees utilise their mobile device, whether smartphone or tablet, to access and update customer and client information from wherever their location. In an ideal situation, mobile CRM will enable mobile or remote employees to work with the CRM database in the same way as in the office.
The concept of CRM sounds like an obvious and beneficial progression. However, to further consider the future of mobile CRM, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s for businesses considering taking their CRM on the road.
So, what are the pros and cons involved with mobile CRM?
Mobile CRM is incredibly time efficient for the end user. Having on hand information means less time needed planning and preparing before leaving the office. All of a client’s details can be brought up on the spot and used in real time. Furthermore, the CRM software can be updated on the spot. If the user finds out some new information, feedback or an amended need of a customer, the data can be inputted there and then. This not only makes relevant information available to everyone immediately, it also reduces the risk of losing information or forgetting to update the system when back in the office.
Mobile CRM ensures that the user has the relevant information when most needed. It avoids the risk of leaving information at the office, it avoids forgetting anything and it looks great for a client or customer to see that you are fully aware of their needs on the spot.
Furthermore, the use of new technology can be a real selling point for a sales team. Customers may well be impressed that the salesman is using a tablet linked to the system to ensure that their needs are put first. Knowing there thought and effort behind the usual sales pitch can help form relationships and trust.
Some mobile devices, if not all to some extent, may not be able to offer users as many options as the desktop version of the CRM software. Often, mobile ‘apps’ are scaled down versions of their bigger brother or sister software and this may result in a reduced amount of information being gathered or processed when used on the road. Even more so if users have to then remember to go back and add to the data when at the office.
For the same reason, those involved in large companies with extensive client databases may find that mid level mobile devices and accompanied software do not have the capacity to efficiently serve them when on the move. Therefore, larger investment may be needed to supply users with devices with more capability and increased integration, resulting in increased costs.
Another major concern, and for mobile CRM, is security. The fact that it is mobile presents a risk for data security in as much as if a device is stolen or left unaccompanied, the companies entire client base list is potentially available to anyone who has access to the device. Not only does this pose a risk to clients, it may open up a competitive risk to the company.
As we can see, the pro’s of mobile CRM offer huge benefits to organizations and are advantageous to any company with a mobile workforce.. The main cons revolve around the CRM software effectively integrating with mobile devices and the capacity of both the device and software. The future of CRM really depends on how technology can be developed to create a reliable and capable relationship between CRM and mobile devices. However, with technological advances ever increasing, it would seem that if the market demands it, a solution to combine security and optimal organizational and user experience will be found and with it, a whole new opportunity for businesses.
You may also like:
CRM and it’s benefits http://www.thinkaboutcrm.com/customer-relations-management-benefits
6 Great Examples of Customer Service http://www.thinkaboutcrm.com/6-great-examples-customer-service
Why is CRM important? http://www.thinkaboutcrm.com/why-crm-important