The Social CRM Mobile Enterprise

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

Mobile device use has a strong hold on the enterprise and should be considered for your Social CRM. Your company must become mobile friendly because both your customers and employees already embrace it. The good news is that mobile social CRM has a positive effect on all aspects of customer service in the broadest sense.

  • Training employees in the field: Employees used to have to attend a training class at a specific physical location, which might be far away. Now they can get on-the-spot training using iPads or other tablets anywhere they have an Internet connection. This saves time and money.

    How this enhances social CRM: Employees have the skills necessary to serve the customer without long trips away from where they’re needed.

  • Finalizing sales and pricing with the customer: A salesperson would often have to go back to headquarters to get the latest prices, contracts, and approvals. In many cases, the employee can now find that information using a mobile device from a customer’s location.

    How this enhances social CRM: Customers are better served by their salespeople and can get their purchases in a more timely fashion.

  • Managing documents and accessing them from remote locations: If an employee was traveling and needed specific documents, she might have to log on with her computer. Now she can access these documents from a smartphone or tablet without having to lug a heavy computer through airports.

    How this enhances social CRM: Customers can have access to documents and other material that will help them use products and services.

The mobile enterprise

When an enterprise goes mobile, it has an impact on every part of the organization. In an AT&T white paper, “The Mobile Enterprise: Moving to the Next Generation,” AT&T lays out these six functions:

  • People: Obviously every employee is impacted. An employee who’s given a mobile device has many more options for how he works.

  • Processes: Work flow and the types of functions that employees can accomplish at various locations are impacted.

  • Operations: This includes not only internal functions but also affects the way the enterprise works with partners, vendors, and so on.

  • Systems: Systems affect all the data collected in a variety of databases and any applications created specifically for mobile use.

  • Assets: This refers to the devices themselves and the materials and people that support them.

  • Customers: Employees can improve customer service and respond to social network data in real time.

Benefit from mobile marketing

In the case of social CRM, there have been advances in the adoption of mobile devices for sales teams. Companies like Salesforce.com have led the way in developing mobile device applications. Benefits to the mobile enterprise are as follows:

  • Employees can work more efficiently and productively. Employees can develop productive habits and schedule work as necessary. Employees can use apps that have been developed by outside vendors to enhance their productivity. For instance, Nuance Communications offers an app called Dragon Dictation that converts your spoken words to text on your smartphone.

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  • The enterprise saves money. Employees can work in places where working used to be off limits, such as the doctor’s waiting room. The enterprise can realize savings from staffers who can work anywhere and at any time.

  • Collaboration is easier. Working with teams halfway around the world used to be an impediment. Now employees can work closely with both internal teams and external partners.

  • You have access to data and analysis regarding your social media accounts. Your customers are on social media platforms talking about your products. Effective collection of data can be analyzed to increase sales and customer loyalty.

  • Real-time interactions with customers are possible. Customers can interact with employees to get the kind of customer service they need.

  • Competitiveness can be improved. If your competitors can’t react to customer behavior as quickly as you can, you have an enviable competitive edge.

  • You can create a faster sales cycle. When your salesperson can instantly produce a contract and your customer can sign on the dotted line, your sales cycle is dramatically improved.

Use mobile with your employees

Employees are heavily impacted when mobile devices are part of the workplace. Companies are also heavily impacted. Therefore, your company has to create guidelines to minimize risk to the company.

When an employee connects his or her mobile device to the company network, that employee is provisioned to the network. When an employee is provisioned, the device that he’s issued becomes a node on the network, and he’s subject to the restrictions and security demands of the company. Conside the following:

  • Platforms and devices: In order to be provisioned onto the network, employees must use sanctioned devices, most likely paid for by the company. The employee is typically responsible for keeping the mobile account in good standing.

  • Security requirements: Each company sets its own security standards, based on its IT needs and capabilities. The security system may require employees to use specific types of passwords and locking algorithms on their devices. When a device is lost, presumably this security should prevent outsiders from accessing data. Mobile data is encrypted so that if the device is broken into, the data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

  • Company data: The enterprise decides what kind of data the mobile employee has access to. For instance, a company might allow a sales team but not a marketing team to access pricing data.

  • Diagnostics and repair: If a device fails in some way, employees have explicit instructions about who is authorized to repair the device. If a unit needs to be replaced, the company spells out the guidelines for that.

  • Conditions for connection to the network: Employees are given the conditions under which they may deploy their devices. Overseas trips and other special conditions are spelled out. If the enterprise believes there is a security risk, employees are denied access.