Mobile & CRM: Your app is in your customer’s hand- how do you maximize that touch point?

Bridging the chasm between the app experiences you deliver and the customer data that is informing your sales and marketing

In this series we have identified a number of practical and business challenges in bringing CRM and other customer data into app experiences. Some companies are starting to bridge this gap, and we expect more and more will look to do this. In a world where the product a company sells is often indistinguishable from the ongoing experience the consumer has with the brand, especially now with pervasive and always-connected technology- mobile today and IoT tomorrow, it will be more and more important to make this linkage.

At Dreamforce (Salesforce’s annual event, with over 160,000 registered attendees) in San Francisco last week there were companies starting to push the envelop in linking consumer experiences on mobile with CRM, but relatively few providers and developers emphasizing this. Perhaps part of the challenge lies in traditional thinking about what brand marketing, direct marketing, and sales management systems do. What we are seeing, by delivering experiences directly into consumers’ hands (i.e. apps), is a blending of these various elements. It is hard to deliver a coupon-like special offer into a high end brand experience stressing luxury, and what do you do if your best direct campaign this month emphasizes skiing holidays, and you know this person is about to leave on a business trip to Dubai for three weeks, or just hates skiing?

So how are companies delivering across this chasm, and is it going to be become more important? Groupe Renault, a FollowAnalytics customer, is starting to see value in connecting customer data to experiences throughout the ownership cycle. At Dreamforce Gigaom Research got the chance to catch up with Patrick Hoffstetter, Chief Digital Officer at Groupe Renault. He described how the group is using digital to “transform the entire customer funnel from first consideration to repurchase,” and in addition he noted that as 40% of the group’s web traffic is on mobile, it has become a critical consumer engagement tool.

Groupe Renault started using FollowAnalytics as a reporting and analytics platform to manage internal apps. As consumer use of mobile has exploded in the last 12 months, the group has expanded their use of FollowAnalytics. An important part of this is using the consumer data in their Salesforce system to inform the mobile experiences they deliver to their customer. The group launched their My Renault loyalty program prior to the move to mobile and now it has moved to an app experience, powered by FollowAnalytics, which is an increasingly important part of the overall customer journey.

 My Renault

Personalized offers and vehicle servicing within the My Renault application

Groupe Renault is also thinking about the car as a connected device. This starts to point towards a real IoT set of experiences. CRM and other customer data is going to be informing the in-car experience. As Patrick commented “the car is becoming connected as well [as mobile]… increasingly we see the connected car creating a customer engagement opportunity.” This is part of an overall customer engagement effort. “We are connecting with consumers on digital for services during car ownership as well as at purchase and repurchase,” continued Patrick. “Much of the activity around CRM is in coordination with Groupe Renault’s 12,000 strong dealer network.”

As an aside- Patrick noted that after the positive experience working with FollowAnalytics, and spending time at Dreamforce and in Silicon Valley, one of his objectives for the coming 12 months was to start working with more early stage technology companies.

“Apps are not just ads”

Samir Addamine, Founder and Chairman of FollowAnalytics, is confident that more and more people will understand that “Apps are not just ads, companies need to connect them them to back into their business- CRM and other customer systems are not just data for salespeople, they can and should inform the entire consumer experience.”

In conclusion: There are good reasons why CRM and other customer data is only just starting to impact consumer app experiences. Companies that can execute on bridging these systems together will see competitive advantage on mobile today, and the multiple platforms of IoT tomorrow.

Customers are on mobile (too), is CRM data informing the cross-platform experience? — Your app is optimized, and push notifications are getting delivered as users get close to your store: why do you still feel you are missing that real 1:1 customer engagement?
Pulling consumer data into your app experiences — Is it time to stop worrying about presence and downloads and start asking whether your apps are delivering ROI?

This post is the third post in a series sponsored by FollowAnalytics. An upcoming report will consolidate these posts.