- By Keith Kirkpatrick
- March 24, 2022
While desktop and laptop computers are still dominant for productivity tasks in the business world, the use of mobile devices has clearly become ubiquitous for consumers. According to research focused on the mobile market conducted by Data.ai, the time spent on mobile apps, the amount of money flowing through mobile apps, and the number of new app downloads all increased in 2021.
Perhaps most notably, people of all generations are leveraging mobile apps and mobile-enabled technology to allow them to experience, interact, and transact with organizations. And as a result, they have high expectations, in terms customer experience and satisfaction, and expect that the mobile experience will mirror the experience they enjoy through any other channel.
Meeting or exceeding those customer expectations is a key part of delivering excellent CX. As such, it is important for organizations to take a user-centric approach to the customer experience. And a key modality that cannot be ignored is mobile, which can include a variety of distinct, yet interrelated channels, including mobile voice, SMS text, messaging apps, native mobile apps, mobile web, and social media.
Regardless of the specific modality, there are several common tactics that should be applied, particularly with respect to customer-company interactions.
- Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each modality: Mobile devices permit people to interact with organizations from nearly anywhere they have a connection to the internet via Wi-Fi or mobile. However, the ability to connect from remote locations does not mean it is always ideal, and the environmental, physical, and even psychological constraints of using a mobile device can impact their overall CX.
- Environmental constraints: From noisy, public spaces, to areas with spotty Wi-Fi or mobile coverage, maintaining a seamless and cohesive connection with an organization via a mobile device can introduce issues that impact the ability to provide an excellent CX. External noise, such as traffic, sirens, street noise, or even other people talking, can make it more difficult for customers to hear or understand a live or automated customer attendant, or cause them to make mistakes when using a mobile application due to these distractions. Further, any sort of interruption with a Wi-Fi or mobile connection can cause data dropouts, or cause unacceptable response times, leading to a more frustrating interaction between the customer and the organization.
- Physical constraints: Other times, consumers simply may not be able to provide information quickly or easily, particularly if they are “on the go,” or if they need to retrieve information stored on the device, but within another application that cannot be easily accessed while using a dedicated mobile app. Some users may be on smartphones with smaller displays, making it harder to see or navigate websites (though a good mobile UI is a must-have for any organization with a website or mobile app today).
- Psychological constraints: Sometimes solving an issue when a customer is using a mobile device can be more difficult because the customer is not settled, is distracted, or otherwise cannot focus on solving a problem at that specific time (Perhaps they are at work, or at an activity where their attention cannot be diverted.)
- Modality constraints: Be aware of the limitations of the mobile modality in use. SMS is great for quick interactions, but may not be the best choice for in-depth interactions, because it requires the customer to type all of the information in a free-form manner. Similarly, social media interactions may be constrained by the way the platform operates, and may not easily allow additional information to be copied or pasted from another system into the app without formatting issues.
Ultimately, in each of the above cases, it is the responsibility of the agent (either live or automated) to quickly recognize when an interaction is not going smoothly, and then suggest either switching to a different modality, or scheduling a callback or chat session at a more convenient time. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the desire to address the problem quickly is properly balanced against the real-world constraints that might make a swift and positive interaction too difficult.
Some of the other key strategies that should be integrated across any mobile interaction include:
Personalize the interaction
Personalization has become table stakes for good CX; all mobile interactions, regardless of modality, should be personalized based on the customer’s preferences and past interactions. This data should also be used to predict future behavior, which can further personalize interactions, and make them more relevant based on the current situation and the customer’s needs.
Create immersive experiences
Customer experiences arenot just about the primary products or services offered. Convenience, efficiency, and engagement with a company are huge drivers, and mobile technology can be used to enhance the overall CX. For example, coffee giant Starbucks’ mobile app allows customers to personalize their experience through their AI-enabled app, which includes voice-ordering capabilities to allow users to speak their orders, earn rewards, and even find the song that was playing in the store after they have left. This drives engagement with the brand, creating affinity across the entire experience, beyond the products themselves.
Incorporate new technology
Mobile platforms also serve as a great catalyst for incorporating advanced technology. Equipped with high-definition cameras, high-resolution screens, integrated payment technology, and immense processing power, smartphones and tablets are ripe for providing a more immersive experience, across sales, support, and service-based interactions.
For example, furniture retailer Ikea’s augmented-reality app lets users virtually place products into their homes to see how they would look within a room, incorporating the room’s dimensions to automatically scale products. High-def displays permit users to see the texture of various products and how light and shadows will render on existing furnishings. By utilizing the technical capabilities of modern smartphones and tablets both within a showroom or via a website, it can provide a more enhanced experience than is possible by using in-person or digital tools on their own.
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