Your cell phone can be used for just about everything these days, from paying bills or finding a place to eat, to ensuring you locked your front door - from the other side of the country. Can it also help strengthen your customer relationship management strategy?
Erika Morphy at CRM Buyer wrote a great piece about companies deploying smart phone-friendly applications to essentially help their customers help themselves. Apps can allow customers to chat with help desks via text message or chat; get answers instantly; and request a call-back from a customer service representative. They may be available for a certain phone or operating system, or through a particular social media website.
According to Nucleus Research vice president Rebecca Wettemann, utilizing this kind of technology "just makes sense." Giving the customer the flexibility to access CRM functions on their own time not only empowers them, but also recognizes that, in today's fast-paced technological environment, consumers want immediate results or they want to move on.
It sounds like a pretty good deal for customers, but what can companies get out of this type of technology? According to a Nucleus Research survey, mobile capabilities provided a 14.6% boost in average productivity, "driven by the development of custom, device-specific applications that take advantage of individual form factors". Though the survey focused on mobile technologies in general, Wettemann believes that, in the future, the use case will show that sales will be the CRM function most affected by self-service technologies, particularly as capabilities like geolocation improve.
How do you feel about the increasing use of self-service CRM? Do you see any issues with potentially alienating older, less tech-savvy customers? Have you already seen this in action someplace? My cable company allows customers to request a call-back time if they prefer not to hold, which can alleviate a lot of the annoyance associated with a backed-up call center.