The Future is Now – Leveraging Mobility to Enhance your Customer and Employee Relationships

Mobility is massive; and will be massively disruptive. Mobile Social Media is a Game-Changer. Today, nearly 40% of U.S. subscribers regularly browse the web on their mobile phones. By 2013, Google predicts mobile web traffic will surpass PC web traffic. In other words, your mobile website will attract more daily visitors and generate more sales than your desktop sales.

From the perspective of the CEO, mobile social media needs to be part of the big picture and raise the importance of mobile in the corporate strategy. CEOs must be ready when mobility is introduced into everything from public relations to advertising to employee communications to commerce. Companies have a window of opportunity to think about how mobile can transform their business as radically as the web did. By making mobile a part of their overall strategy, companies can transform their relationships with their customers in even great ways than they did with the web. “Mobile solutions can drive business results by helping companies develop key relationships, connect with prospects and find new customers,” according to Pam Springer, CEO of Manta. “Clearly, it is more important than ever that businesses can be found online from anywhere and at any time.” By making mobile a part of the overall strategy, you can transform your relationship with customers and employees in even greater ways than you did with the web.

A mobile strategy will require spending money to make money. IT investments in mobile platforms and cloud-based computing will be required. In order to get maximum cost savings and productivity improvements, employees will need training, especially in operations and sales.

With the power of a Smartphone, workers can employ many strategies to improve their effectiveness and efficiency – helping the technology not only pays for itself, but provides positive return on investment as well. According to Westron Communications, some of the advantages include:

1. Mobile email. When employees can send and receive emails on the go, they can speed up customer service requests, access critical information, and generally do their job more productively.
2. Fewer phone calls. With a Smartphone, employees can access critical information via text message, instant message, email or app. They are less likely to call a colleague at the home office searching for information, which wastes the time of yet another person. Plus, when colleagues and customers know they can reach a mobile worker via email, they are more likely to communicate this way. The result? Less time spent on voicemail, fewer costly cellular minutes and lower phone bills.
3. Reduced drive time. What if your mobile workforce could skip their drive to the office and go directly to their first assignment or sales call instead? With a smartphone, employees can retrieve email and other information on the go, rather than being forced to visit the office. If your company reimburses for mileage or pays for company cars, a smartphone can shorten commutes and save you big bucks. Plus, employees can use that formerly wasted commute time to work on productive tasks.
4. Less getting lost. Most smartphones offer advanced mapping features and turn-by-turn directions, including GPS. If your mobile workforce spends less time getting lost, they will spend more time working. Plus, you can avoid buying more costly in-vehicle navigation systems.
5. Easy documentation. Smartphones include built-in cameras and video capabilities that are simple to use. Mobile workers can use these to document problems at client sites. When problems arise at remote sites, colleagues at the home office can receive photos or videos for further analysis. Finally, apps such as Apple’s FaceTime enable the mobile workforce to conduce a quick video conference from any location.

Mobile computing devices, services and the ecosystem that surrounds them – are a transformative force in politics, society and business. What makes all of this so very interesting is that the transformative force is, itself, transforming.

In his book ALWAYS ON, Brian Chen calls it the “Anything-anytime-anywhere future. We will be constantly connected to a global Internet community via flexible, incredibly capable gadgets with ubiquitous access to data. The constant connection these devices offer, and the amount of information they are constantly collecting and transmitting is set to change much of our lives. The data-driven revolution is already underway.”

About the Author

With his focus at the intersection of public safety, technology and mobile computing, Tom Hulsey’s approach to the evolving marketplace is with his insights and ability to dig in to where actual customer benefits lie. Keeping abreast of a rapidly changing technology landscape isn’t easy, but Tom’s focus is always on what any technology actually provides the business.

Thomas A. Hulsey, CSE

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