If mobile CRM is deployed with care the results can be outstanding.
Posted Jul 26, 2004
Mobile CRM is a new, highly versatile loyalty tool that presents many opportunities, such as to provide a more personal, timely service to your customers; to maximize customer spend/wallet share; to minimize customer attrition; and to save costs in other areas like direct mail and customer services. Getting it right and building real brand loyalty is all about knowing your customer well and understanding where and how in the relationship mobile communications can add real value and improve returns.
At the heart of good mobile CRM are good data management and analysis, and common sense. Always ask yourself, "Is this messaging that my audience will be happy to receive?" The mobile medium can deliver such an impact that it is just as important to know the reaction of those that do not respond as it is those who do. The following is a basic guide to the steps you should take:
Make a preliminary assessment of what unique benefits mobile CRM can deliver given your brand objectives: Provide time-sensitive alerts? Supply account updates or delivery status? Give customer tips or reminders? Deliver rewarding personal content or offers? Involve in product promotions or competitions? Provide timely upselling or cross-selling to related products/services? Send personally helpful information such as registration details, contact numbers, etc., for future use?
Conduct an audit of existing customer data for mobile numbers, permissions/privacy status, and recency of contact. Mobile is an opt-in medium in which you need specific permission to contact customers through the channel and a clear explanation of what it will be used for. Review and determine where this permission will be obtained and how the data will be collected.
Data analysis and profiling
Calculate the key variables for determining consumer profiles and their value, such as the net worth of each customer, propensity to respond to promotions, or level of loyalty. Identify customer segments best suited to conversion to new behavior, such as those of highest potential net value or at most, danger of churn, and use online tools to model data and analyze. Overlay the database with external lifestyle data like Mosaic, Prizm, etc., to enrich understanding and inform message development. Consider how much help you want from your potential mobile partner in this area, and review accordingly.
Campaign strategies and targets
Identify where the key customer value/company profit opportunities lie, and develop near-term sales or cost-saving targets. Decide on strategies: e.g. Target high value customers one month before contract end; or send two-for-the-price-of-one offers to low-frequency purchasers; etc. Prior to implementation brief your mobile partner on the objectives and targets, and plan how to assess the results.
Your key measure is likely to be direct ROI from your customer doing what you had planned, but it is important to track these other metrics as you develop activity so that you can see how the relationship is developing. Consider using text itself as a research tool by asking customers on a periodic basis to score on a scale of 1 to 100 how warmly they feel about the brand and following key communications. Track these scores.
It is also worth testing any ideas you have against small groups to see how they are received. Look both for strong positive responses that will drive viral recommendation and for net positive gains across the group researched.
Implement rules at the campaign delivery-engine level; feed responses back into the master dataset. Use knowledge gained by subsequent campaigns and results to refine both your mobile and other media planning and call center activities.
If mobile CRM is deployed with this care, the results can be outstanding. But the golden rule is to monitor closely how the relationship is developing and always provide a simple, clear, opt-out mechanism. Never forget that your customers may tire of you using the medium to contact them. If they do, the best result is a simple opt-out. If you monitor closely where and when your customers do this and tailor, or limit, your communications accordingly, your use of the medium will generate great results that map to your CRM objectives.
Last, always ask yourself the simple question: 'Would you want it on your mobile?' The best mobile CRM is timely, relevant, and clearly helpful.
About the Author
Rob Lawson is the senior vice president of Americas at Enpocket. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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