Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
In today’s day and age consumers across the globe have greater accessibility to shop and utilise services than ever before. So if you do have an e-commerce business or an app-based service, and you want consumers to make use of what you have to offer, you need to be able to efficiently attract their attention – and make their mobile experience pleasant and easy.
Today the time consumers are spending on their mobile devices has surpassed the time they spend on desktops. However, this trend is seen among consumers using the variety of mobile applications that businesses have to offer.
Gone are the days when only the rich owned a smartphone. Now we see smartphones with access to the internet in the hands of every kid, parent and even grandparents.
With an increasing number of customers relying on mobile access to websites and involvement with companies it is quintessential to establish an excellent customer experience on mobile, which is at the same level as – if not better than – the website and retail customer experience. Here are a few handy tips you could use to improve your mobile customer experience:
1. Think with your thumb
One very vital factor that must be taken into account when designing mobile applications is to consider the navigability using just the thumb instead of having to pinch or squeeze.
“You want users to be able to navigate your site with their ‘phone hand’ without the use of a second hand. Additionally if you have to pinch to zoom, your content is probably too small or not perfectly optimized for that browsing device,” says Marc Weisinger, Director of Marketing at Elite SEM.
It is also important to note that the average index finger of an adult is around 16 to 22 mm, which translates to around 45 to 57 pixels. This would mean that when companies design their applications they should make their targets large enough to be effortlessly selected so that unintended taps are eliminated from the mobile customer experience.
2. Provide Personalised Customer Service Via Mobile
In a study conducted by ExactTarget it was found that around 90% of mobile users aged between 18-24 sleep with their mobile devices next to them. In this era, mobile devices have become such an integral part of our lives that it is the last thing we look at before we go to bed and the first thing we look at when we wake up.
A customer experience professional Joe Tawfik says that “for customers, it’s [the mobile device] their personal space-they customize everything to meet their needs.” Therefore companies need to make sure that their messages to customers are personalised and encourage the customer to engage with the brand.
One of the most frustrating experiences for a customer is when they are directed to a FAQ page or 1800 number; customers want instant and effective help. Thus, companies must inculcate a quicker and more responsive customer service experience such as the new and popular live chat or social media posts. This permits for a more personalised interaction and as a result a satisfied customer.
3. Make it Fast and Efficient
A company should aim to keep the mobile application load time to a few seconds. If not it may result in displeased customers. One of the biggest threats for companies that operate using a mobile app is not a competitor but rather the customer quitting the app due to frustration.
According to Ari Weil, vice president of Yottaa, a cloud-based automation platform, “Today’s online customers want the information they need when they need it, at the click of a mouse or a swipe of a tablet or smartphone,” he also added that “retailers have only milliseconds to grab their attention and complete the transaction. Amazon, for example, has shown that every 100 milliseconds of latency cost them 1 percent in sales, while Walmart reports conversion rates rise 2 percent for every second of reduced load time.”
For a company to retain customers on their mobile for long periods of time they must maintain a clutter-free, easy to use app; else customers may become distracted and not follow through with the purchase.
4. Customers are intolerant to errors and will gladly take their business elsewhere
A survey conducted by IBM showed that 16% of the participants were not afraid to buy from a competitor if they encountered a problem during the mobile customer experience. On the other hand, 13% of participants admitted that they would completely abandon the transaction.
It is therefore doubly important for companies to take heed of the changing consumer behaviour, and actively invest in improving their mobile experiences to make it just as great as their web and retail experiences. If companies did neglect their mobile customer experiences and customers couldn’t find the information they needed, they won’t personally be messaging the company to mend the error, instead they are going to go back to Google and look up a competitor and begin using their services.
5. Don’t diversify with too many apps
Some decisions to create an additional app may be a gamble; one never knows how it may perform or whether customers will actually want to use it. Take for example, LinkedIn. LinkedIn recently came out with multiple additional mobile applications such as a messaging service, LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Slideshare, LinkedIn Lookup etc. Although some of these apps were a success some did fail.
Jon Russel a writer and editor for TechCrunch says “Neater though it is, the fundamental problem is that LinkedIn is the last place I go for serious communication” Companies must focus on the overall strategy first and then take into account how the mobile strategy fits into it. There must be an intricate strategy and a scrutinising process for a company’s mobile approach. With too many apps, you could end up confusing your customers and therefore marring their experience. When it comes to mobile, always remember to keep it simple.
6. Reward Your Customers
Once customers are on your mobile app making use of your services, your content should also become a little more personalised. Additionally to show them your gratitude you could also reward your customers with gifts such as digital gift cards or coupon codes for their next purchase. Most importantly, keep these rewards customised for each customer, they don’t want a coupon code for a product they will never buy or have never bought anything close to it!
Never forgot a small token of appreciation from the company’s side could go a long way in customers promoting and advocating for a brand. One excellent example is Amazon’s prime membership. Customers who sign-up for the prime membership don’t just get the one-day delivery service, but are also rewarded with access to other services such as Prime Music, Prime Video etc. This is a great way to create stickiness in your product or service.
In conclusion, if customer experience is the new battleground for businesses, then mobile is the place where it will be fought the most fiercely. The good thing is that no-one would ever lose if they play the game well.