Definition

mobile CRM (mobile customer relationship management)

Mobile CRM, or mobile customer relationship management, enables those working in the field or remote employees to use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access customer data and customer accounts wherever they are. Mobile CRM attempts to enable employees to do everything they would from a laptop but with streamlined menus and fewer swipes and clicks, given the small real estate of a mobile device. The best CRM software is designed with user efficiency and intuitive navigation in mind, without compromising feature sets.

Mobile CRM has been particularly beneficial for departments such as sales, where sales reps can now attend client meetings with CRM data about the client at the ready and in real time. Additionally, new BI and analytics tools such as data visualization software have further enhanced the mobile customer relationship management experience by providing easy-to-access, digestible data that sales reps can access in real time to understand gaps in performance, territories where they are performing well and so on. Mobile CRM can also create greater intra-departmental communication and integration, where those in the field can more easily communicate with those at the office, sending documents, messages through social networking software like Salesforce Chatter or Microsoft Yammer and so on.

Mobile CRM can also open up business processes to workers beyond full-time employees, enabling contractors and company partners to gain access to information without needing logins and passwords associated with employees. Mobile customer relationship management, along with collaboration tools, opens up the four walls of the business to a larger array of stakeholders.

Mobile CRM software can pose security risks, however, by placing client and customer data on mobile devices. Stolen phones and tablets can jeopardize customer account information. Mobile CRM data can also present data privacy and compliance concerns. Businesses must develop strong policies around how privacy for all parties should be handed, and then build it into the mobile device management strategy.

Buying considerations for mobile CRM software include ease of deployment, ease of use, security, user experience and advanced feature set. Development for mobile CRM platforms often takes a mobile-first approach, where software development builds features for mobile platforms first, then integrates them into desktop versions.

This was last updated in February 2016

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