Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Strategies for Mobile Customer Engagement

June 06, 2014

A quick glance around any crowd today will confirm something that formal studies have proven: Americans today (and people in most other countries around the world) live on their smartphones. They read their email, talk, text, read the news, surf the Internet and share on social media. Perhaps most important to the business world is that they spend a lot of time researching products and services and buying on the mobile Internet.

Companies that aren’t where their customers are – the mobile Internet – are losing out. According to a Forrester Research study conducted last year, “Building and delivering great mobile experiences will be the beating heart of your customer engagement strategy for the next 10 years.”

It’s not sufficient to be “good enough” and meet your customers’ lowest expectations. You need to succeed and delight them, inducing them into closer relationships with your customers and engage with them even when they’re not in an immediate buying mode. Building brand awareness, encouraging customers to become advocates and turning to your organization for industry news and events is also part of the package. This will put heavy demands on the contact center, according to a recent white paper by Contact Solutions entitled, “Effectively Positioning Your Business for Mobile Customer Care.”

“Mobile is a disruptive technology, and its mass (and growing) adoption by consumers will soon disrupt the contact center as we know it. This new customer care will shift control of the service experience, and those businesses that can act more quickly will have an advantage over those that lag behind.”

The types of mobile engagement services customers will come to expect include click-to-call, scheduled call backs, SMS or texting, self-service (e.g., visual IVR), mobile web, mobile apps, mobile chat and even mobile video chat. While not all companies will require all these services, customers are coming to expect that companies make at least some of them available.

While a good mobile strategy will cut across organizational departments and draw in marketing, advertising, accounts receivable, sales and more, it’s critical that the mobile customer strategy be built using the contact center as a kind of “Grand Central Station” for mobile efforts. Mobile customer care that takes place outside the realm of the contact center risks creating siloed data and systems that will leave huge gaps in the customer experience.

For many companies, it’s not a matter of “if” they deploy a mobile customer support strategy, but more a matter of “how.” Businesses already engaging customers in the mobile sphere are using a combination of technologies, including native mobile apps, mobile apps and hybrid apps. Which is right for you will depend on your IT resources and knowledge, your customers and your products and services. Whichever route you choose, one thing is certain: ignore mobile customer engagement today, and you’ll be ignoring your customers in the near future. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle