You’ve likely seen it when you’re out and about: The increasing number of people whose heads are bent low, eyes glued to their smart phone screens as they appear to be going about their day. For some, it’s a pet peeve, and there are scads of articles about the “social issue of phone etiquette”. Even governments are saying “enough” to the phenomenon, cracking down hard on those who can’t seem to stop themselves, even when they’re driving.
Yes, it seems everyone is doing everything (well, almost) on their mobile devices. Says Founder and CEO of Helpshift, Abinash Tripathy, in CCW Digital’s report “Mobile Customer Experience”:
One of the biggest shifts of recent years has been the emergence of mobile as a primary experience … especially (with) younger consumers. They practically live on their phones, bouncing in and out of apps throughout the day … Today’s consumers expect to buy everything they need, arrange transportation, send money and manage their finances and even find their romantic partners via mobile apps.”
The world is mobile
Whatever your views on this trend, it’s hard to deny the freedom and versatility our mobile devices give us to do more of what we want with our time, and minimise the pain of our necessary transactions. No more spending our lunch times in the line at the bank (or supermarket, or post office, or wherever), staring at the ceiling tiles while we wait our turn to complete a five-minute transaction. Now, we can open an app and get stuff done in the time it takes for our coffee order to arrive.
Businesses that ignore this trend – and the quality of experience their customers are having while they’re “bouncing in and out” of apps on their devices – do so at their peril.
Building effective customer self-service channels is a big part of creating a streamlined digital experience for customers, not to mention the boost it gives to your contact centre efficiency as agents are engaged more (and more engaged) on value-adding calls, than on boring transactional ones.
An interesting distinction CCW Digital makes in their report is how the shift to mobility is impacting other channels and integrations. The key is less in cross-channel integrations, and more in keeping the experience within the mobile environment. This leads to something of a paradigm shift when it comes to which channels you should focus on, and how.
Stuart Conway, Shell’s Service Design Lead, said in the report:
“Mobile users expect integrations with other apps and companies outside your system that save them effort in data entry… and they expect lightning-fast performance… they also expect their information and progress to be retained as they switch between channels.”
He adds that companies that are structured by their channels may find meeting these demands challenging.
Ideally, customers that start in a mobile channel want to complete their task in that channel, so while integrations with other channels still need to be well-designed and streamlined, they’re not a priority.
“The good news,” says Abinash Tripathy “is while customers are more demanding and less patient in a mobile environment, they are also far more tolerant of automation. … A well-designed chat bot can automate many common issues … (and) mobile customers embrace them, as long as they are effective.”
CCW Digital summarised their bottom line for boosting the mobile customer experience in five principles.