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A new episode, Understand Your Mobile End Users (Customers), is now available on the “Life in the Mobile Enterprise (LiME)” podcast. Listen to Robert Lacis, senior director of customer success, and Mark Lorion, chief marketing officer, in conversation about understanding your mobile end users, or rather, your customers. Robert and Mark cover how to follow the day-in-a-life of your customers, how to segment them, the importance of user groups or steering committees, and how to communicate with your customers about the enterprise mobile apps you built just for them. Read on below to learn more about the importance of understanding your enterprise mobile app customers. Download the "Definitive Guide to MAM®" to learn more about managing the full lifecycle of the enterprise mobile apps you're building. Tune in every week for “freshly squeezed ideas to make your organization successful on its enterprise mobility journey.”

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Many companies continue to lean toward developing their own custom enterprise mobile apps to meet the specific needs and interests of target users such as salespeople, field service technicians, and other employees who need to stay productive while they’re on the go. Indeed, 60% of companies now have internally-developed apps in place, compared with 42% in 2014, according to The 2015 Executive Enterprise Mobility Report published recently by Apperian and CITO Research. As decision-makers embark on app development, a good starting point is by thinking of employees or end users as customers. In a sense, they are customers. You’re trying to create a product for them (a mobile app) that they will want to use regularly. And as consumers outside of the business, employees have their own experiences—both good and bad—from using apps that they’ve downloaded to their smartphones, whether it’s to check on sports scores or to stream music. Just as a company gathers feedback and sentiment from its customers and prospects about their needs, preferences, and behaviors, these same insights can be collected from employees to help decision-makers to learn more about what different employees and work teams are looking for in a mobile app and to ensure that the development team is delivering on these expectations. For instance, salespeople will likely want to be able to access customer profiles and prospect data remotely. Even though there’s been a fair amount of buzz about the prospects of social selling via social media networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn, it may not be a feature your company’s salespeople are interested in. App developers can also evaluate work teams (sales, marketing, field service, etc.)—how they work, where they work, why they behave certain ways, along with the processes that feed into their work streams. Development teams can use these insights to segment employees just as a company’s marketers segment customers by how often they purchase from a company or by their short- and long-term value. For instance, sales leaders often require usage policies that allow them to access performance figures for individual salespeople while sales associates themselves would require access to their own customer and prospect data and other information regarding their individual performance. Developers can apply security and usage policies to enterprise mobile apps through app wrapping. This ensures that employees, managers, and executives are provided access to certain types of data based on their roles. It’s also beneficial to get employees involved in the design and requirements process early on to ensure that the app and its features/functionality is created to address their most pressing needs along with the types of information they require access to. For example, through the design specifications process, HR professionals may indicate that they need to be able to access employment history for prospective employees being considered, including their work and salary histories, certifications, references, and other pertinent information. Employee input on what they’re looking for out of a mobile app shouldn’t begin and end with the initial development and rollout. As employees spend more time using an app, gathering their feedback on their likes and dislikes can be used to fine-tune the app. A mobile application management (MAM®) solution that supports an enterprise app store can be used to gather that feedback for administrators and developers to evaluate and act on. By understanding the needs of workers and work teams, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the pain points that employees are trying to solve and deliver the types of apps they’ll want to use again and again.

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