Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pro-On-The-Go Mobile CRM Apps: Helpful or a Hassle?

Recently there has been an increased use of mobile devices for business purposes. Mobile CRM Apps are a hot area of mobile business productivity.

Mobile Customer Relationship Management apps allow you and your staff (if you have one) to access your CRM platform from virtually anywhere to help you stay in touch while out of the office without having to carry all of the paraphernalia such as a laptop PC and other equipment.  While this seems like a cool idea and makes most workers feel like they do not have to be chained to a desk all day, you also have to look at the advantages and disadvantages of CRM apps to ensure they will be more helpful than they are a hassle.

CRM App Advantages

To help you weigh out the pros and cons of mobile CRM apps here are a few advantages of using mobile applications to maintain your customer relationships.
  • Changes Take Effect Immediately: Instead of keeping track of every change you made while out of the office and then having to spend time to record it into the system when you return, a mobile CRM allows you to make changes on the go that immediately take effect back at the office. 
  • Synchronization: A mobile CRM app allows you to synchronize schedules and calendars and engage in other activities such as participating in conference calls, keeping in touch with your business, and other activities without having to return to the office for an update. 
  • Improved Customer Relationships: This is a real plus and the primary reason that many business owners are choosing a CRM app.  If you can build better customer relationships by staying in touch while on the go, you can create a sustainable customer base that helps your business to grow and last for the long term. 

CRM App Disadvantages

Like anything that has advantages there are always some drawbacks to consider when you are trying to make a decision to use mobile CRM apps.  Here are a few disadvantages to consider:
  • Security Concerns: Business data security is crucial to the integrity of your business.  The fact that security for mobile devices has not come as far as in-house machines makes mobile devices a target for data breaches.  This becomes a concern when it comes to using mobile CRM apps while in the field. 
  • Reliability: The purpose of a mobile CRM app is for everyone to communicate on the same page in terms of inventory availability, customer status, product location, and other concerns when dealing with the customer base.  If you have built a reliable platform then this should not be a concern however, if you have several different apps trying to communicate with one another, this could result in a system that is unstable. 

System Failure: Business data loss is a major concern for all businesses and since mobile CRM apps are technology, they can be prone to failure.  This is a concern if you do not have a backup plan in place and a plan to immediately be up and running again in the event a problem occurs with the CRM platform.