These days, having a customer-relationship management (or CRM) system is often seen as an essential tool for businesses as it enables them to monitor their sales, marketing and customer relationship objectives. A business’ customer relationship management program acts as a central repository of customer information, and can be used to improve customer service, to identify sales opportunities, target marketing initiatives and to develop better business processes. A CRM will allow businesses to pull together data on their customers from throughout the company that can then be analysed, enabling it to organise and refine its everyday activities so that it is dealing with its customers in the most effective manner. What we find is that a CRM system helps businesses to monitor and target their external strategies, plus it can also be used to improve staff productivity, including front-line personnel.
As you can well imagine the effective exchange and collection of information is a vital element of any CRM program, and this is where mobilised CRM can pay real dividends. Increasingly, companies are realising that a mobilised CRM system will help them gain competitive advantage by facilitating real-time data collection and distribution, which creates a more effective sales force and increases customer satisfaction. For example, a mobile customer-relationship management system can improve staff productivity by:
- Enabling remote sales staff to input sales information through their mobile phone and SMS.
- Allowing account managers to text in customer updates via 2-way messaging, rather than waiting until they are back at their desk, so that information is available immediately.
- Sending information on potential leads from support departments to sales staff so that they can follow-up straightaway.
Customer relations can also be handled more effectively with mobilised CRM system. For example:
- Businesses can reward customers through a loyalty programme offering discount vouchers.
- A reminder SMS can be sent to customers regarding an appointment, a sales event, or even a subscription renewal.
- A mobile CRM system can send updates to customers’ mobile phones, such as an estate agent sending out information about newly listed property.
- Even delivery updates can be sent to customers with a mobile CRM system.
It is also worth noting that a business can add even more value to its mobile CRM system if it also incorporates 2-way messaging, so that customers and staff can receive and send information. Two-way messaging, as part of a mobilised CRM system, will let businesses interact with their recipients. This means that they can share information, as well as gather it, and so provide a more efficient service. A CRM program with 2-way SMS messaging:
- Is a highly efficient way for businesses to ask customers for feedback, so they can monitor and improve their performance.
- Allows customers to respond to information, such as replying to a text from an estate agent to booking a viewing of the property.
- Facilitates the internal collection of accurate real-time sales, stock or performance figures.
Of course, businesses looking for a mobile CRM system (especially one that incorporates 2-way messaging) will need to ensure that the SMS gateway provider used by the system is first-rate, with a secure, reliable and comprehensive network, as well as providing around the clock support. They will also need an easy to use messaging system, one that seamlessly integrates with their CRM system, so that using the SMS interface is straightforward. Only by ensuring that their mobilised CRM system is supported by an experienced SMS gateway provider will businesses be able to gain the competitive advantage offered by this business tool.