Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
Smartphones have changed the way customers interact with businesses, but have the businesses changed?
There has been a staggering growth in mobiles in the last few years owing to its multi-functionality. From tapping on QWERTY pads to pinching and swiping on screens, mobile devices have upped their game to give users a seamless experience. Users are led by their intuition while navigating between windows which reflect their behaviour and aspirations. This has brought about a startling change in customer experience.
This is further reinforced by the statistics of smart phones being the main mode for internet traffic today.
Mobiles have become the first screen of many connected customers. Andres-Wolberg Stock, Global Head of Emerging Platforms and Services at Citi revealed in an interview, “Citi approaches digital initiatives as ‘mobile first’ to improve their customers lives; then zoom out in strategy from there.” This is great because it goes to prove that mobile is increasingly impacting the customer experience and businesses are beginning to do something about it. While the smart phone has had innumerable consequences on the customer experience, let us throw light on a few common ones.
What has mobile got to do with customer experience?
1. Multichannel presence of the customer
Customers have the tendency to use multiple channels to get in touch with customer service. In the telephone and the PC era, a consumer could only do so much regarding their demands for better service. But with the power of social media and a massive network of connected friends on whatsapp, iMessage, or slack, the customer now has the power to create waves through their smart phone. Moreover, almost every brand is trying to get customers’ attention and eyeballs on their mobile phones itself. Brands must realise that both their service and marketing are being monitored from customer’s mobile phone itself, which has a huge impact on customer experience.
2. Global reach and awareness
Customers check you up virtually and do a ruthless comparison with your peers to receive only the best of the products. Without a second thought, they share opinions about you in the form of reviews, videos, memes and other ways on public platforms. They get to interact not only within their known circle but also with your other customers for a heads up regarding your products and services. As more and more people get connected every minute, the news travels across faster and wider. That means, irrespective of how good or bad your customer experience is, everyone eventually comes to know of your existence. According to your performance, you can either call it a boon, or a curse.
Let me elucidate this through an example. In the following example, a customer posts not 1 but 3 messages about his bad experience with British Airways:
Observe how his response has been further shared by 47 people with their connections, all in a day’s time! Imagine what such messages do to a brand’s perception.
3. First point of virtual contact
Yet another commonly overlooked issue that has quite a commendable impact on customer experience is the absence of mobile responsive websites. Companies undoubtedly lose a lot by not availing the option of allowing customers to access their websites through mobile devices.
When self-promotion is quite prevalent in today’s times, a genuine promotion by a truly satisfied customer creates speedier awareness of a company. Mobiles provide a very efficient platform for a customer to flaunt, boast and celebrate a company’s act of goodwill. The high ranking of pages in mobile searches, the direct and indirect site traffic and the online reviews are a few to mention in how a satisfactory customer can impact a company’s brand. And a mobile responsive website ensures that the customer experience is flawless from the point the customer lands on your website.
Though most of the interactions might be virtual, companies must also keep itself physically approachable by providing an address that integrates with the mobile phone map applications. Make it easy for your customers to come to you, and they will get more people to you.
Convenience is what everyone desires for. Anything that fulfils this desire, thrives. Mobiles will continue to carry the world within them, escaping extinction. It will continue to influence the behaviour of customers to the point that a company’s customer experience will soon be entirely dependent on its mobile strategy. A company needs to be updated about the technology and also the psychology of its customers to at least maintain its customer experience, if not upscale it. It looks like Darwin’s theory of ‘the survival of the fittest’ will continue to haunt us!