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Mobile Only Customer Experiences

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By Mark Atterby

mobile-customerConsumers have embraced the concept of a mobile centric world. Most businesses and organisations however, according to recent research from Altimeter, treat mobility as a bolt on to their existing digital strategies.  The new digital customer journey demands that businesses invest in mobile-first and even mobile-only customer experiences.

Mobility is not just another channel or technology that organisations need to incorporate

… 90 percent of consumers move between devices to accomplish a goal, using an average of three different screen combinations each day.

in their overall communication, marketing and customer service strategies.  It’s about developing a mindset that radically re-evaluates the customer journey.

Jaimy Szymanski and Brian Solis, in their new report The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience claim that businesses are missing out on one of the greatest opportunities for customer experience innovation.

“Mobile is no longer the second screen, it’s the first screen,” says Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter. “Mobile is the first device consumers go to when they enter the customer journey. But most brands and agencies treat mobile as a bolt-on to a bigger digital strategy or campaign. As a result, mobile customer experiences are fragmented and siloed.”

Re-evaluating the customer journey

Four out of five smartphone users use their phone for shopping or booking appointments or planning an event such as going to a movie or a concert. Even if they make their final purchase in store or on their desktop or via phone call, their journey as a customer is likely to start with a mobile device.

According to the Altimeter research 90 percent of consumers move between devices to accomplish a goal, using an average of three different screen combinations each day. Solis comments, ”Brands and agencies need to own mobile, make someone accountable for the mobile customer experience and more so, move away from a mobile first approach and embrace a mobile only philosophy to keep customers on task while on the small screen.”

Research and analysis from Google, highlights that 59% of smartphone users purchased a travel product via their handset as opposed to 44% of desktop users.

We are living in a mobile world where consumers can access services and information via a multiplicity of screens and device. It’s time for business to acknowledge the significance mobility has in redefining consumer experiences. It’s disruptive and it’s heralded a range of challenges that need to be addressed. Mobility needs to be at the heart of corporate digital and customer service strategies.

Engaging the mobile customer

Why do customers use smartphones to review and purchase products?

It’s convenient, it saves time and it’s immediate. For example, customers can access their bank accounts and pay bills while they

The mobile experience must reduce the amount of effort customers must put in to get what they want.

are on the bus to work. Or book a ticket for a movie while having a short break during the day. They can make transactions on the go, when and where they chose.

Online transactions that are slow, take too much time, or create an unsatisfactory experience in some way, will discourage mobile customers. The mobile experience must reduce the amount of effort customers must put in to get what they want.  Engaging the mobile customer requires that the experiences through mobile devices are effortless, personal, quick, and informative.

Szymanski and Solis identify the following five areas where companies are failing to adequately address mobile customers:

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Mark Atterby is Editor of theOutsourcing-guide.com. He also runs P2P Media – a digital and content marketing agency.
February 16, 2015
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