Engaging the mobile Customer

by | Dec 14, 2014 | Customer Service

“Customer experience is a catalyst of transformation. It directly impacts culture, strategy, structure and all parts of a business.” – Christine Crandell

Ever walk around and not see hordes of people busy doing something on their smart mobile devices? Unlikely! Well customer-centric companies have therefore picked up on this and are constantly improvising and looking for new ways of engaging the ‘mobile’ customer in a bid to provide better experiences through on the go customer service. A majority of the population, who own smart mobile devices, rely heavily on these devices to access information, resolve minor issues and even conduct business. The truth is that with the changing market environment, the onset of technology and the sharp increase in the number of companies providing products and services, customer expectations have increased and companies are willing to comply.

Engaging the mobile customer includes customer friendly service, swift responses, the ability for customers to have a live-chat and all this to be accessible round the clock. The businesses that do not adapt to these rapidly varying expectations and provide the service expected, are sure to lose customers to competition. The paradigm shift to ‘mobile service’ in customers and the willingness of companies to comply is allowing customers to get what they expect – both in terms of their needs and the time in which they should get it.

The long and short of this trend is that these smart mobiles are becoming a customer’s best friend and a problem-solving device that sorts out their problems in a matter of minutes. It would be imprudent then for a company to not invest time and effort in engaging the mobile customer and have a dramatic impact on the customer’s satisfaction.

There are a number of reasons why engaging the mobile customer and improving each ‘mobile’ experience is becoming so important.

– Desktop computers have been relegated and customers prefer to use their mobile devices to save time. Constant engagements and work pressures are pushing customers to access information, company websites and conduct social media discussions on their mobile devices. It is therefore essential for the companies to ensure that these customer experiences are satisfying and customers use minimum effort when connecting.

– Mobile device applications are further encouraging customers to not only access information on products and services, but also make purchases directly from these smart devices. A thorough research on what’s available in the market is often followed by few more buttons allowing online purchases and safe modes of payments. Companies must carefully and diligently follow the trends and patterns of usage and integrate these with their online strategies to significantly enhance the mobile customer experiences.

– Engaging the mobile customer is not just about providing applications and products that can be purchased online. It is also about reducing bad experiences and errors in online experiences. Customers are not only more demanding but are also increasingly intolerant to shoddy online experiences and will not think twice before moving to the closest competitor to buy what they need if the mobile customer service is up to the mark. The very premise of making transactions on the go and on mobile devices is that these save time and therefore if an online transaction takes too much time or the experience is short of satisfactory, companies can be sure that their mobile customer will abandon them.

Businesses that fail to or are slow in addressing these issues can run into significant problems with their customers. They expect that their mobile experiences and transactions will add value to their business and save time and effort for them. If these basic needs are not met, then even the best of products will fail to impress leading to a higher number of lost opportunities and business that will go to competition. Customers that are unimpressed with your company’s mobile service are most definitely not going to email or call you about it. They would rather search for the next company that has similar products and place their order if their transaction is smooth, effortless and swift.

– Engaging the mobile customer is not just about selling products but also services. Customers constantly search for local services like restaurants, new stores, plumbers and such, on their mobile devices. It is this convenience and sense of control that is making customers turn to their mobile devices and making it imperative for a company’s success to continue engaging the mobile customer. Be there or lose out!

– For customers now, their mobile devices seem to be a major part of their world. People see the time, wake up with their mobile alarms and the last thing they ‘engage’ with is this device. Customers therefore expect that the interactions and transactions they have with companies and their brands are also customized and the messages are as personalized as possible. They expect that if they seek customer service, there would be an instant chat that can answer their questions personally rather than having to access an umbrella FAQ page. Each customer is of the opinion that their problem and requirement is unique and therefore the solution or answer too must be unique. For companies engaging the mobile customer would mean providing such service in whichever way possible.

With all these factors playing a crucial role in changing the mind-set and expectations of the customer, companies would do well to ensure that the mobile experience being provided is consistent, remarkable and in conjunction with all the other channels of service provided. With this new-found freedom and convenience, it is unlikely that the customer expectations will ebb. If anything will change, it will be an increase in the demands for service and range of offerings. Despite every customer having seemingly varying needs and expectations, there are some common factors that drive customers to use mobile devices as the preferred means to access information and connect with the outside world. A consistent understanding of these common factors will serve companies in providing a better ‘mobile’ environment for both their existing and potential customers.

– The mobile experience must reduce the amount of effort customers must put in to get what they want.
– Every transaction must be faster and better. There is no time to wait or waste and neither do customers have the patience for it. They want everything now – time is of essence
– Customers want to be able to access information through any channel. They want to harness the power of mobile transactions and control it.
– The control of information in the palm of their hands makes customers feel good about them and therefore engaging the mobile customer is also about enhancing this feel good factor.
– While engaging the mobile customer, companies must remember that fake promises and feigned niceties will not work. Customers would like to interact with people who are real – have weaknesses and accept their shortcomings but also strive to get better. Customers want and desire authenticity.

Companies that can understand these factors are more likely to be able to translate them in to experiences that are rich and rewarding. Engaging the mobile customer for both long term and short term requires that the experiences through mobile devices are effortless, personal, quick, informative and in their control. Give the customers all these together and be sure to gain mobile customer loyalty and even more customers. Redefine how your customers currently interact with you and use the information to translate these interactions to mobile and satisfying ones. Remove any experiences that take away from experiences being less than satisfying and are not in control of the customers.

Revamp your systems and strategies to match and measure up to this new mobile environment – start probably with the IVR system of your contact centres. Is it easy to connect with from anywhere or do customers have incessantly long waits to get in touch with someone? If they get in touch, does the agent, have all the information and is courteous or is the customer shunted from person to the next? Redefining and understanding what constitutes a memorable customer experience is vital to gain customer attention.
The mobile space and engaging the mobile customer is an interesting yet challenging realm. If managed properly, the rewards and opportunities are unlimited and if not, companies can be brought to their knees and find it hard to survive.

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