The United States is an increasingly mobile society; more than half of Americans own smartphones today, and this number is on the rise. Among younger Americans (25 to 34 years old), the smartphone ownership figure is closer to two-thirds. This means several things; we’re playing a lot more Angry Birds, we’re sending a lot more text messages and we’re more likely to walk out into traffic while staring at a YouTube video.
To U.S. businesses, the increasing mobility of the American public represents both a challenge and an opportunity. As consumers use their smartphones to communicate with companies and shop for products and services more often, it has become essential for businesses to provide their customers with better mobile experiences.
While most companies know they need to provide mobile apps to customers, the reality has been slower to come about. Poorly designed apps are rampant, and many companies fail to follow up on customer communications that arrive through this new medium. This does more than just irritate customers, according to a new white paper from Genesys.
“This hasty approach to mobile apps has obscured one of mobility’s greatest strengths — namely its ability to act as the base platform for a multitude of channels, enabling organizations to provide ever more relevant and personalized customer experiences at every touch point.”
In essence, companies are missing out on the opportunity to build a mobile strategy that can turn simple, transactional usage of the app (checking a balance, for example) into personalized two-way interactions that can cross channels and expand the brand presence, writes Genesys. This leaves companies at risk for losing customers to competitors with better mobile strategies.
A well-planned, comprehensive mobile strategy — a strategy that regards mobile as playing a key role in optimizing cross-channel customer service efforts, can help build brand awareness, directly upsell and cross sell new products and services to customers and reduce costs with mobile self-service strategies. On the flip side, a poorly planned mobile strategy can risk customer relationships, spread inefficiencies across the organization and cost more to fix than they did to implement.
A mobile strategy shouldn’t stand on its own, writes Genesys. It needs to be a dynamic part of the spectrum of customer contact strategies.
“Even when mobile apps offer excellent self-service and transactional capabilities, they often fail to integrate the mobile conversation with either the overall customer service strategy or the contact center technology platform,” according to the white paper. “This is similar to the “silo effect” that emerged during the rise of e-commerce. When customer service was extended across phone, e-mail, and chat in the late 1990s and early 2000s, each customer touch point tended to live in a different organizational channel, resulting in a profound disconnect between agents.”
Mobile customer expectations are on the rise, as is the percentage of business that can be won directly from m-commerce. What this means is that the stakes are even higher for companies building their mobile experience. By failing to deliver a good one that is well integrated with the overall contact center operations, companies are not only cheating their customers, but their businesses.
To read the full Genesys whitepaper, “Taking Aim at a Moving Target: Creating Better Customer Relationships with an Integrated Mobile Strategy,” click here.
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