Saturday, April 24, 2010

What's next with Mobile CRM?

Remember that scene in 'The Devil Wears Prada" where Andy rescues Miranda from a networking catastrophe by remembering the name of the wife of an important guest at Paris Fashion Week? Wouldn't it be useful if your CRM system was able to leverage customers' digital ID via mobile? Imagine a world where the opt-in options for your customers include allowing you to recognise their digital ID or URI via their mobile when they attend your event. The moment they walk in the door to the conference / art opening / product launch / auction, they are located by GPS and their customer details appear on the mobile device of the event hosts.
Does this represent an erosion of an individual's privacy? Not when your customer has agreed up front and understood the terms by which you can use their digital ID.
The potential extends beyond mobile ticketing and checkin as we use it today for paid events, to more diverse possibilities whereby customers can choose to be recognised when they visit the types of venues, stores or travel destinations where their VIP or loyalty status can be recognised immediately. How much more valuable would your customers feel when they are greeted by name when they enter the room and when you can remind them of the last time that you had the pleasure of their company. And if this customer courtesy is not enough value on its own to incentivise people to allow their digial ID to be read, then you probably need to rethink how you present the value and incentives for your loyalty program.
To date, most of the attention around mobile identification tracking seems to be polarised around two ends of the privacy spectrum - on surveillance and use by police at the 'big brother' end and purely social use for sharing your location with friends using mobile apps like FourSquare. Somewhere in the middle, is a valuable B2C opportunity that could deliver greater engagement between businesses and their customers.

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