According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who own a mobile smart device has risen from 35% to 64% between 2011 and 2015. Perhaps even more telling is the fact that approximately 19% of Americans either depend entirely or mostly on their mobile devices for the majority of their at-home internet use. And while this is an interesting glimpse into how technology affects American citizens, it means something much more for businesses. Ever since the internet became a viable purchasing and customer-service channel for average users, businesses have been eagerly working towards creating and optimizing customer-facing sites online. And, up until recently, this has meant ensuring that everything works well with the traditional computer set up — a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, etc.
However, with client focus currently shifting away from desktop and laptop computers, businesses are being forced to rethink their strategies. Specifically, they’re feeling the pressure to offer full site functionality on mobile devices in order to provide a better customer experience. But beyond even that, businesses themselves are having to make internal changes to allow for mobile compatibility among employees, particularly in regard to dealing with customers. This is where an effective customer relationship management (CRM) mobile app comes into play.
Generally speaking, today’s employees aren’t confined to desks; they’re working on the go. Salespeople travel between locations, meeting with prospective clients. Field agents need access to schedules and work orders while on location. Even those jobs that are classically consigned to the office are made more productive when employees are given the option to access their work remotely. In fact, companies gain an extra 240 hours of work annually from employees using mobile devices for work-related purposes. This is because mobile smart devices allow users the freedom to work from anywhere, at any time. Whether it be during the few minutes spent waiting to pick children up from soccer practice, or the long public-transportation commute between home and places of business, or any other time or place throughout the week, employees can easily jump in and accomplish tasks — without having to head into the office.
But beyond the obvious benefits of allowing employees to put in more productive hours, there are certain customer-facing advantages to having mobile availability for your organization. A mobile CRM app can help ensure that your customers are getting the best service available at all times. Employees get to enjoy access to real-time updates to vital information, so that they are fully equipped to provide clients with the reliable information they need in order to make informed decisions. Departments across your entire organization get to access the same data, irrespective of compatibility issues related to platforms, promoting a more coordinated customer-service effort across all channels. And, even those who are not working directly with clients can use an agile CRM mobile app to manage schedules, perform data analysis, generate reports, and organize important files all in one secure location. But CRM isn’t a new technology, and a quick internet search will reveal that there are any number of mobile CRM providers to choose from. How can you be sure that you’re finding the best CRM mobile app for your business?
There are a number of key differences between how users interact with a site via a desktop/laptop computer, and how they access the same site on a mobile device. For one thing, mobile devices generally have much smaller screens (both in terms of size and in number of pixels). Another critical difference is that of input. In place of a mouse, most mobile users rely on direct interaction with a touch screen, which is less precise and incompatible with ‘hover’ events. The best mobile CRM apps should be designed to take these and other differences into account. Here are three essential considerations to keep in mind when making your choice:
Customer Focused Usability
Although screen size may not seem that important when it comes to CRM applications, the size of a screen can actually make a significant difference. In fact, research by Localytics shows that users spend 23% more time in apps when using devices with larger screens. This is because smaller screens negatively impact the user experience; programs designed to be accessed on a roomy 32” monitor don’t generally display well on handheld screens — making for an irritating user experience. As such, a less annoying CRM mobile-app solution is to design a system that is mobile first. This means that the application is created specifically for mobile devices, providing users with full functionality and ease of use, regardless of platform. Likewise, the app should be intuitive to control, requiring a minimum of training to operate. Built-in tutorials and multi-channel customer support options can also play a key role in how useable the app may be.
The entire point behind mobile CRM is to offer a more convenient alternative to traditional desktop CRM options. With this being the case, it hardly makes sense to commit to a CRM solution that is incapable of integrating well with your existing systems. Your mobile CRM should be designed to operate fully in conjunction with the rest of your business, without forcing your business to change the way it’s already operating. Cloud-based mobile CRMs are generally capable of doing this, seamlessly integrating across platforms and systems, and syncing data across them in real time. This means that no matter who accesses the CRM and from what platform, they’ll have access to the same reliable, up-to-the-minute information. CRM integration means a more efficient way of doing things for your business.
Quick and Accessible Data Analysis
Improving sales isn’t the only reason to invest in CRM. Sales mobile-app functionality is only the tip of the iceberg; the most-effective CRM solutions are also capable of capturing and analyzing data, generating interactive, easy-to-follow reports in real time. This is especially important for mobile CRM, where users may not have the time to stop by the office and wait for reports to compile. Being able to analyze vital client information to produce actionable conclusions means that users will always be able to make informed decisions regarding the customer relationship — even when not in the office.
Already widely-recognized as the leader of the CRM industry*, Salesforce is committed to providing the best mobile CRM experience available. The Salesforce CRM mobile app takes the power and reach of the traditional Salesforce CRM system, and redesigns the interface for 100% mobile functionality. As a result, users enjoy a complete, cloud-based CRM solution while on the go.
Thanks to the rise of mobile computing, more and more Americans are enjoying the freedom to access the internet while away from a stationary computer. Your employees should have the same freedom. Mobile CRM can make it possible for your organization to connect with the people who really matter at any time, and from any location, but not all mobile CRM options are the same. Do your research, check out online reviews, and take advantage of any free CRM trials, and you’ll have a much better chance of discovering the mobile CRM solution that works for you. After all, your clients want to be able to stay connected, and so do your employees. Empower your customer relationships, with mobile CRM.
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