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Mobile CRM Hits Delivery Home Run

by Kenneth Murphy

January 31, 2013

by Ken Murphy


I’ll be attending SAPinsider’s CRM 2013 event in Las Vegas next month, interviewing speakers and blogging about the sessions to create content for the Insider Learning Network. With so many sessions to choose from, I wasn’t sure where I should focus my attention until a recent personal experience with mobile CRM helped me identify at least one must-attend session.

First, a little background. While it seems a lifetime ago, within the last two years my wife and I upgraded from our 700-square foot condo in Boston – certainly spacious enough for just the two of us – to a four-bedroom house in the ‘burbs that we quickly filled with two kids and, yes – sigh – a minivan. This entailed having to buy some furniture – and lots of it.

The company we bought from wasted no time in putting on a what-not-to-do CRM clinic. Canceled deliveries, broken promises, unreturned phone calls and emails, and the wrong pieces being delivered at the wrong time was the norm. The worst experience was with our mattress, which the deliverymen damaged beyond repair bringing up the stairs. After sleeping on a bed of mashed potatoes for six months, making endless calls and sending endless angrily worded emails, the company finally agreed to take it back for cash credit.

Last weekend, we bought a replacement from furniture company No. 2, which guaranteed us a delivery window between 7 and 9 a.m. just two days later. With the bar set low, they didn’t need to do much to exceed expectations, but I was still pleasantly surprised w hen on the appointed morning the truck pulled up outside our door at 6:59, and the deliverymen carefully brought the mattress upstairs as if they were handling egg cartons.

The driver then whipped out an iPad, and started taking photos from various angles, and I provided a touchscreen signature confirming that the photos were, indeed, of our new mattress in our desired location. Wouldn’t a signature on a delivery slip suffice, I asked – as it has since the advent of home delivery? The driver explained that the use of the iPads cut down dramatically on return trips – where customers who had signed off on the delivery would often call and complain that the piece was in the wrong location, hadn’t been set up properly, or was missing components. Also, he said, there was no more lost or misfiled paperwork, and many customers enjoyed having the photo emailed to them so they could forward it on to their family and friends.

I expect to hear a lot more examples of mobility’s reach into CRM at SAPinsider’s CRM 2013, with Track 6 dedicated entirely to mobility. I’ll especially look forward to a case study from Natacha Gutermuth of Institut Straumann AG describing how the company got SAP CRM Sales 2.0 up and running on the iPhone and iPad for 800 sales representatives around the world.

Since Institut Straumann is in the dental supply industry – not to mention headquartered in Switzerland - I doubt their sales promotions include two tickets to a Friday night Red Sox-Yankees game this July, which was included in our mattress purchase. With the aforementioned bed of mashed potatoes, I don’t know if I’m looking forward more to the game or a good night ’s sleep. Probably the game. With the two young kids, it might be the next opportunity I have for a night out.


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