How do you create a mobile strategy that helps you leverage the unique technology it provides? The biggest challenge of mobile is how it changes the way you do business. For mobile to provide the greatest benefit it must complement your overall business strategy. Over the years I’ve worked on many projects that leverage new technology to increase business results. Mobile can help you reach your goals to grow your business, but it has already shown that if its not implemented right it can cost you not only sales, but customers, as well.
When I work with businesses to implement a new technology, I look at three key systems to make sure that it provides the edge we expect from early on in the rollout process. I’ve used these three systems in over 100 technology rollouts. I’ve seen it done right, and I’ve seen them fail. Since mobile is such a visible platform for your business, it is critical to get it right and then keep improving it. Using systems to deploy technology comes from many different sources, but I first started using it over 20 years ago after learning the concept from Michael Gerber, who had just shared The E-Myth with the world.
The systems approach in deploying technology allows for better results early and also creates a culture where constant improvement is available at the pace you choose. For businesses between $5 million and $100 million in revenue, it not only increases success early but provides a scalable platform for future business growth. There are three systems I use; hard systems, soft systems, and information systems.
The first system is called a hard system. A hard system is a system solution to a typically people intensive problem, without anyone having to pay attention to it. The hard system is there to provide support and structure to your business processes. Over time, hard systems may evolve, but not as quickly as other parts of your solution. The key question is what results are you looking to achieve and what structures support those goals. For example a hard system for a mobile technology could be a self service customer service portal with FAQs (frequently asked questions) on the site.
The second system you need to integrate into you mobile strategy is the soft system. A soft system provides a method of completing a process for repeatable results regardless of who is doing the process. For example, a sales system could be a soft system. A sales system includes several key elements including: results benchmarks, sales scripts, support materials, delivery of scripts, and then a continuous improvement process. The soft system allows you to standardize the way you are seen in the market. It also standardizes these processes across many different locations. This system evolves over time to create a framework that you use to create additional revenue and growth for your mobile technology.
The third system is what Michael Gerber calls the information system. Today, we might call it the performance metrics for our systems. It allows for accurate measurement of customer interactions. It measures key issues that we identify in helping create a strategy that supports your overall business objectives. This part of your systems allows you to monitor progress as your soft and hard systems are used.
That was a lot to understand. But why is this so important to you mobile strategy? These three systems can provide your business with business processes, organizational structure, key metrics, and results. They also provide you the leverage that your business requires for your financial investments in technology. Next week, we give you examples of these systems at work and why they can increase your revenue, customer retention, and profits using mobile. This week, we wanted you to start thinking about how mobile is different from your typical marketing strategy and why, if done correctly, it can be a giant killer for your business against your competition. So, come back next week and learn how to use these powerful systems in your mobile strategy.