It never ceases to amaze me, how some brands perceive mobile and how it relates to the customer experience. You might think, that in 2016, with people using mobile for more and more activities, that brands would make mobile their number one priority in terms of the customer experience it provides.
Unfortunately, you would be wrong. There are many brands out there, in a variety of different industries and sectors, that continue to look at mobile as an afterthought. This is poor on a number of levels, and is something that the guilty parties may regret sooner or later.
Mobile is everywhere and everything
Deloitte has just released the findings of its sixth annual Mobile Consumer Survey, which analyses the mobile phone habits of more than 4,000 UK consumers. The findings were highly instructive - one in three UK adults - and half of 18-24 year olds - said they checked their phones in the middle of the night, while around one in 10 respondents admitted using their handsets ‘always’ or ‘very often’ while eating at home or in restaurants.
The penetration of mobile is now deeper than few would have ever thought possible, so it stands to reason that any brand would want to offer a customer experience that best suits consumer requirements. Surely a brand’s physical, desktop, mobile and tablet should all provide a similar and consistent experience?
Presenting the information
The step to a first-class mobile customer experience is a simple one – allow customers to view any required information (product detail, opening hours, contact information and more) easily and clearly. How frustrating would it be for a consumer to try and peruse product options on your site, only for the information to be presented in a way that made it hard for them to read or navigate?
I would wager many consumers would simply move onto another site that lets them read and find information without any fuss, and allows them to feel confident enough on the view that they could make a purchase. This really does feed into a brand’s entire content strategy – if a majority of people are viewing a site via mobile then all content should be tailored to that,
A contextual connection
Consumer protection is important, but allied to that is the need to let consumers move from mobile to other channels. So if a consumer wishes to leave a website to visit that brand’s mobile app, then they have to be able to access that easily.
Whether it is using a service such as the new Microsoft Authenticator for both iOS and Android, which combines a simple user experience with the highest level of security for all of the accounts linked to the app, a face recognition approach, users do not want to be entering a password to access another channel. With mobile voice there is the possibility of using the customer's unique voiceprint for authentication.
Likewise, when they do switch channels they want to retain the context from their previous interactions. Mobile should be fully connected to a contact centre, allowing the customer to change channels should they require, without having to re-explain what their issue is or what it is they require.
Mobile and omnichannel
The smartest use of mobile however, is full integration into an overall omnichannel offering. True omnichannel play, involves content delivered to mobile, multi-channel access to information, an informed agent and actual person-to-person voice. This ultimately becomes a much more personal, richer interaction, with technology addressing ID and security, as well as customer intent.
Reaching this goal may be some distance away for many brands, but it is imperative that they start now. Mobile should be the primary customer experience focus for any brand, it really is that important.
Mike Hughes is MD at PeopleTECH and one of the UK’s foremost customer experience experts, having worked for and consulted companies such Thomas Cook, BskyB and France Telecom on how best to deliver a first-class experience to their customers.