Where ever you go, there you are!
2017 is an exciting year because Merchant Plus! will be available for mobile devices with our new Merchant+ Anywhere product. Merchant+ Anywhere represents Smyth Retail’s next technology generation (number 4 for those counting along). The best news is that instead of starting over, we are building on the best practices and business rules of our existing, and very mature, product suite. Merchant+ Anywhere is browser based and platform agnostic so it can run on just about any device that supports a web browser: Androids, tablets, Macs, iPads, iPhones, and desktop PCs.
Customer Marketing – Anywhere
The first module to be released (in 2017) will be a new contact management solution. Gaining access to customer contact profile information, notes, sales history, and all the details of the CRM module will be accessible anywhere – including a phone. Imagine the benefit when recognizing a good customer out for dinner: you can look up their spouse’s name before approaching them, and even remind yourself of their last purchase. While the best sales associates are doing this now, it is critical that this integrated application will get them to store contact data in the company’s records, instead of their personal contacts. Not only does this prevent someone from walking away with the best contact information, but it will be as simple as deactivating an account to protect the company’s data.
The real value, and new feature, is that “Views” can be assigned to sales associates with reasons to contact customers, such as: upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, recent sales activity (for thank you messages), inactivity, open credits, and really any list that can be created using the powerful Data Mining tool in Merchant Plus! As customers are contacted, notes and follow-up ticklers can be created not just for convenience, but can be tied back into analysis to identify which associates are consistent about contacting their customers.
Hyperlinks will allow the program to initiate phone calls, text messages, emails through the device and pop up a contact record to help automate the process and recognize at least contact efforts.
One to (the Right) One Marketing
In a way, effective marketing hasn’t changed since the early days of mailing lists. But, the number of ways to communicate with our customers has exploded: email, snail mail, texting, cell phones, home phones, business phones, and social media. Understanding each customer’s preference for communications has become much more important and a necessary refinement to make sure contacts are personalized to the “Right One.” In many cases, these preferences are so personal that they can be challenging to automate. For example, a customer may prefer a phone call, but what if the phone is disconnected? What is the next preference? The reality for many specialty stores is that this really becomes the responsibility of the sale professional to manage and is a huge benefit of mobile CRM.
Sneak a Peek!
This announcement was extremely well received at the Client Conference in October. We demonstrated some of the basic functionality of this new program on a remote cell phone.
Our development team is hard at work and we expect to have an initial roll out this year. Follow our blogs, social media or newsletters for updates.
And, this is just the start. We will continue to add new functionality where mobility makes the most sense and eventually expect this solution to replace all back office functionality. Our initial focus will be to add features where mobile can be advantageous. For example, with an affordable scanner, a mobile device can become an inexpensive device for Physical Inventory .