Dial CRM for Mobile

Dial CRM for Mobile

Cameron Franks Sybase 365
Cameron Franks

Cameron Franks, AVP for American sales at Sybase 365, on how mobile can be the CRM holy grail.

Customer relationship management (CRM) has existed for years, mainly as a discipline for enterprises to internally manage their customer data and interactions; customer loyalty in particular has increasingly become an area of focus for brands.

With an overwhelming amount of offers via email, direct mail and phone calls issued by brands every day, there is a cacophony of communication aimed at driving customer loyalty, which means brands are struggling to reach customers on a real and impactful level. Why? Because they aren’t paying enough attention to mobile.

Racing to read

The average SMS is read within four minutes of receipt compared to 48 hours for an email. Correctly targeted and relevant SMS provides direct access from brand to consumer, cutting through the clutter and achieving a direct customer response.

 

It is also important to recognise that SMS has strict opt-in requirements, which keeps this channel relatively clean in comparison to email, and that messages received by consumers have more relevance as they have usually been directly requested.

Over the last 10 years, brands have too frequently used mobile in a fragmentary fashion, relying upon one-time ‘txt 2 win’ campaigns with no real follow up or ongoing dialogue with their customers, and little tie-in to larger in-store loyalty schemes.

Today, there are two ways to enhance this process. Firstly, from an enterprise IT perspective, giving employees mobile access to the CRM tools allows them to manage these processes quicker and more effectively.

Secondly, by using the mobile channel to actually engage the end customer in a more timely and relevant way, be it via loyalty and promotions, customer services or self service account management.

 

Create ongoing relationships

Brands must look at the issue from an enterprise-wide CRM point of view, and specifically, how to create an ongoing relationship with the consumer, how to tie existing and mobile loyalty programs together, and how best to use mobile analytics to measure and improve interactions with the customer across these multiple channels. Mobile competitions can still work, but are made to work harder when enticing users into ongoing loyalty communications.

The next level is finding an effective way of distributing and redeeming coupons through the mobile channel and effectively modelling relevant consumer adoption and behaviour.

The historical approach has been to utilise the new capabilities of phones to accept and render bar codes through MMS or the mobile browser. However this has hit problems when it comes to redemption at point of sale. Retailers have a mix of old and new laser and imaging scanners, some of which struggle to read bar codes on mobile phones, reflection from the screen being a key issue.

 

Take a different approach

So, a different approach is required. One process that is growing in popularity involves the user receiving a simple SMS that can be received on all phones, and instead of trying to get this scanned at the POS, they simply key the voucher code into the pin pad. Best of all, this process can be implemented without costly upgrades to existing POS terminals and equipment.

A key difference between a mobile voucher redemption and a paper voucher is that through the mobile channel, the user is authenticated as well as the voucher, allowing the retailer to verify the mobile number, and through integration into the loyalty platform, the owner (and their recent shopping habits) can be identified, something that has a lot more depth than a serial number. 

The other advantage is that since consumers nearly always have their phone with them, not only can more immediate and compelling offers be made, but users won’t have to remember to print vouchers and bring them to the store.

Although various channels can be used to drive customer loyalty, streamlining internal systems with the channel that reaches the consumer in the most personal and relevant way is likely to have the greatest success.

From mobile messaging interoperability to mobile content delivery and mobile commerce services, for operators, brands and content providers, enterprises and financial institutions, Sybase 365 has the market covered. That means it delivers more mobile services to wherever you are, or need to be. http://www.sybase.co.uk/

 
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