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How has mobile CRM software affected contact center service?

Consumers are using mobile devices to shake up customer service. Expert Scott Sachs explains how and offers advice for how to transition to support mobile CRM.

Mobile devices and mobile CRM software will continue to have a major impact on traditional contact centers. Some of the channels associated with mobile CRM are still immature in contact centers, and there is still a distance to travel for increased use and acceptance of these technologies.

Companies now recognize that customers want to be able to reach them whether they are on a laptop and in a live chat window, on a smartphone using SMS text, or on the phone.

Accordingly, mobile CRM software has placed additional power into the hands of customers. With mobile technologies in their pockets, customers can now interact with an organization through a variety of communication channels, anytime and anywhere. There are some realities associated with adjusting to a mobile CRM-driven universe, however:

Mobile is not Web. Websites have been built to work on computers and often do not translate well to mobile devices, unless that site has been built with responsive design. Companies need to start thinking mobile-first by building applications that work well on mobile devices and provide friendly and simple customer experiences.

Consumers also want their mobile experiences to be efficient and intuitive. Elaborate menus or pathways that take several clicks easily become a point of frustration for customers and a disincentive to stay on a website or buy an item. Companies' mobile-first strategies must put these concerns front and center.

SMS is on the way. Currently, too few customer service departments have fully embraced SMS text messaging as a legitimate communication channel. It is likely that the adoption rate for this method of communication will grow dramatically very soon. The Millennial generation is comfortable communicating with SMS and has increasingly come to expect it as a means to interact with a company, particularly a customer service department. Consider that maintenance departments increasingly use text as a means to confirm appointments. Customers want this option too.

Visual IVR. Interactive voice technology (IVR) has been successful in enabling customers to use self-service options on the phone. Using visual IVR, customers now have the ability to visually navigate through prompts on their mobile device and either self-serve or route a transaction to an agent most equipped, knowledge and availability-wise, to handle the inquiry.

Mobile CRM software is a powerful customer platform. It's critical for contact centers to continue to evaluate how they must transition to support customers who are using this platform in ways that have not previously been supported.

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