Research last year revealed the average user carries out 221 tasks per day on their mobile, so it’s no wonder that the research showed that almost 4 in 10 users admitted to feeling lost without their device. But is the mobile customer experience generally reflective of this and what is the best way for a brand to offer such an experience?
The news that consumers now have seriously high expectations when it comes to getting the right customer experience won’t be a shock to many in the industry. Nor indeed the fact that those expectations are going to continue to rise. A recent Forrester report illustrated just how empowered consumers are now, and how quickly their behaviours are changing.
The best way of meeting these customer expectations is through effective use of mobile. Not only is mobile becoming ever more important to consumers, offering a richer, deeper and more personal experience, but delivering this can make a brand truly stand out from the competition. Organisations need to have mobile as their number priority when it comes to customer experience – but how many brands can say that is truly the case?
It’s All About Mobile
When it comes to delivering a good customer experience, it really is all about mobile. People are used to shopping, banking, booking travel and much more on their mobile and it is becoming one of the primary ways in which consumers engage with a brand’s customer service teams. But finding a mobile experience that reflects the importance consumers place in mobile, is not as easy as you would think or hope it might be.
Many brands still have a sub-standard mobile strategy, not even delivering the basics such as optimising their website for access via a mobile. There are smarter brands out there though, that have realised that a mobile customer experience should always be part of an overall omnichannel strategy.
Omnichannel involves a greater continuity of user experience, the retention of a customer’s context across channels and ultimately the Single Digital Channel (SDC) to address customer requirements effectively. It is a much richer and more personal interaction, it’s about giving consumers a unified, consistent and contextual customer experience, and it is something that all organisations should aspire to.
The Importance Of Data
To do so involves bridging the gap between web, mobile, social and offline channels to serve the omnichannel customer experience, and technology has a major role to play. In addition to providing the seamless experience that consumers now expect, the right tools can give brands (and their customer service agents) unparalleled information and data relating to that customer and their likely intent.
This should entail being aware of what the customer has done previously, allowing frontline customer service staff to offer a better service to that customer, resolving issues quicker and offering help at the right time and via the right channel. SDC will even allow access to all media types from their desktop, with all contact interaction taken by customers waiting in one queue to be addressed by the most appropriate agent.
Agents (and in-store staff too, where applicable) must then have access to this omnichannel data, allowing them to make better decisions and have more productive engagement with customers. Not only will this reduce customer churn costs as a result of abandoned interactions, it can have a significant impact on productivity in dealing with customers.
Mobile has to 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. There are even customer experience technologies that can look for live issues that consumers might be having on mobile, which can then queue up a notification for a support chat request.
Build Or Buy?
The effective integration of mobile into an omnichannel offering is fast becoming a customer experience holy grail. But how can organisations get there, which technology they should choose from the many options available? They absolutely need to undertake a comprehensive review of current projects and programmes. Some of these may only require subtle tweaking to bring them up-to-speed, whereas others may be utterly unfit for purpose.
But when the review is complete, the choice is essentially to build or to buy. Some brands may look to develop their own offering, but this can be a lengthy process and time is of the essence. The technology behind delivering a mobile customer experience is varied and complex, and brands would be best advised to look for best of breed point solutions to bring them up to speed.
A big part of this should include looking at SaaS offerings. These are far more flexible than on-premise options, and while there are still integration requirements, anybody still building everything themselves is clearly taking too much time and investing more than they need to.
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 taking care of ID & verification (security etc) and customer intent, customers prioritised according the SDC.
Brands are faced with a of choice of building this technology themselves or buying in ready-made solutions – it’s a choice that needs to be made with speed in mind, because customers highly unlikely to wait for companies whilst they get their digital roadmap sorted – they will simply go elsewhere.