Keyboards are faster than thumbs (assuming you can type).
And collaboration is easier with a team, customers and vendors if you can push out information with a keyboard.
But business is human, at least for now. We are still out there selling to new prospects and servicing existing accounts. And that computer in our pocket works on the speed of thumbs. Mobile workers need to be tied into the flow of team resources while making decisions, and actions happen out in the field.
Organizations that want to keep the flow of collaboration and results have to think through the workflow of their mobile workforce. And while some team members may be behind a keyboard all day, some are part-timers at a desk. When off to business meetings, presentations and travel, that mobile aspect should be designed so everyone can stay continuous in their execution.
Here are some strategies to consider implementing so your sales and service remain at a high level of collaboration without hiccups:
1. Cover Your Apps.
There are myriad options for CRM, ERP and support desk systems. Be sure to evaluate the iPhone and Android apps for a platform and how data records are accessed and used in addition to the web browser experience.
Your cloud computing environment extends beyond the full-blown keyboard experience. Try out the thumb experience and how simple things feel to assign tasks and search for a specific contact record.
2. Work Through Handoff Scenarios
Someone at the office depends on someone in the field. Identify the handoff points and what information has to flow. Work for a day with your mobile team and desk workers side-by-side. Get them on the same page collaborating on data and information.
Design the process, and then move the simulation into the field to see if the the collaboration works just as smoothly.
3. Center Mobile Work on Text and Email
A mobile worker has the inconveniences of moving around and not seeing the entire interface. Make it simple by designing business practices that center their actions on texting and email. If your team can take inputs into a system by text, you can set up automation to input that information into the right places.
Using a system like Google Voice to manage inbound texts and even applying an API program to push information into the right systems can be a simple workflow to make collaboration easy and fluid.
4. Keep Calendars Shared, Synced and Ready
Your mobile devices – iPhones and iPads – need to sync up via the cloud with your team calendaring system. This allows others to see availability and assist in setting up meetings.
Furthermore, home base workers can see where everyone is at. It can be a simple sales or service dispatching system that is real-time so all the moving pieces can be managed about where and when your mobile workforce should be.
5. Remove the Barriers
Ultimately, mobile workflows require a bit of design and intentionality to accommodate the limitations of smaller interfaces and the nature of moving around without the friction from information systems in mobile work life.
If you remove the barriers and make the mobile user’s experience simple for inputs and looking at the information they need while equipping your desk people with easy ways to collaborate, you can remain continuous in your efforts to drive sales and service your customers without a hiccup.
When you or your team are mobile, how are things working?