How Mobile Helps Organizations and Customers Stay Connected
by Robin Tinker, on Dec, 19, 2013
Mobile devices are everywhere; at the breakfast table, on the nightstand, in our pockets, in classrooms, and in our minds at all times. So ingrained is our relationship with our pocket computers that we check them even when we've received no notification that anything in our digital world has changed. The healthiness of this relationship is a matter for psychologists. Harnessing the power of this relationship, on the other hand, is a matter for marketers and business.
We know that businesses utilize Internet-enabled cell phones on a constant basis, but how do we use this platform to turn clients into raving fans and sales pitches into contracts? Understanding that web-ready mobile devices mean different things to different organizations is a good start. Understanding how to leverage these contexts carries us into some interesting and useful territory.
Instagram, Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook have turned mobile devices into omnipresent sharing machines. Delicious food is published at light speed, attractive clothing is posted and receives feedback in a matter of minutes, and our activity and customer reviews become the official word on quality of service and product.
For businesses, this provides a real opportunity to use digital channels in order to affect change. The marketplace is a conversation, and the more avenues for discussion, the more comprehensive the picture potential clients get when exploring their options. As a business, focusing on providing valuable information, product demonstrations, and news about new features keeps sales prospects interested with the confidence that your organization is available for discussion.
These channels work both ways. Clients who plug into social networking to leave feedback for your establishment can be responded to quickly, their concerns addressed and their praise appreciated. Quick customer service response times, even to bad situations and feedback, can mean increased brand reputation and the benefit of adding a human face to your company. This feedback can also be leveraged when directing development efforts, and this responsiveness will not go unnoticed.
And while this kind of activity existed, at least in part, prior to the iPhone, the mobile aspect of this interaction makes all the difference. Customers can have a bad or good experience and then relate it to others on their desktop computers, but the availability of these options at a moment's notice means greater customer involvement and greater business interaction.
The power of having these capabilities at customer fingertips cannot be understated, but social networking is only part of the picture. The prevalence of messaging on smartphones and the potential of mobile web are still being explored, and the future of this kind of access has real implications for savvy firms to stay connected with clients.
By offering promotions, marketing, and savings through social networking and email, you can actually initiate the commercial conversation. Having this kind of ubiquitous presence in the lives of potential clients means that you can form a lasting, positive brand impression, all without the challenge of coordinating logistics. The combination of mental presence and ready communications forms a relationship that will affect your business well beyond the initial email or Facebook update.
But communications aren’t simply limited to interactions between clients and organizations. Intra-business correspondence can receive profound boosts due to innovative new sales applications.
Coordinating sales teams, leads, transactions, and activity can cause a real headache. Translating this activity into a comprehensible and actionable narrative takes analytics, intelligence, and the right tools. Fortunately, mobile applications and communications provide ample opportunity to do so, connecting customers and businesses in a way that can guide sales pitch and save time.
The availability of salespeople can make a big difference in sales conversion. Through feedback mechanisms and online forms, potential customers can request product demos, provide valuable marketing information, and schedule meetings with a member of your sales team. This combination of streamlined logistics, better understanding of client expectations, and facilitation of sales lead discovery means more efficient use of time and better allocation of company resources in the process.
Customer meetings and follow-up can also be tailored through mobile connectivity in order to make your sales pitch more relevant and more responsive. New applications feature customizable meeting agendas and sophisticated follow-up options in order to best connect with customers. But what's most potent about these tools is that they provide actionable analytics that can track, on a session-by-session basis, what items, messages, and topics elicit the greatest response. With these capabilities, data can be collected that creates a more comprehensive customer portrait, guiding future action and, eventually, sales.
The potential for connection enabled through mobile is truly in its infancy. The potential for feedback, sales, and conversation allowed will see continuing exploration as businesses and clients understand its power. You can capitalize on this through improved customer service, sustained market presence, and better sales coordination. By tapping into available communications channels and using mobile activities as actionable feedback and data, your business can see the benefits of developing technologies and our ever-growing love of the pocket computer.