Mobile customer engagement : it’s about transactions more than content

mobile-customerImproving customer experience and increasing engagement in a context of mobility has become a key concern for businesses. It’s useless to repeat to what extent mobile uses have increased over the last years or that customers use their mobile even in a physical shop or that their expectations regarding to mobile interactions with businesses are increasing day after day.

Mobile customer engagement has become at least as important as engagement in physical spaces. Same for customer experience : it’s easier to switch to a competitor’s site or application than  to go out of a shop if disappointed by the experience.

With the rise of tools like Google Now and mobile push of information, it’s essentiel to build a coherent end-to-end experience on mobile. Having Google suggesting me a restaurant or a shop because they match my tastes and are nearby if I can’t browse their site in good continue to make a reservation or check if such a product is available.

Existing on mobile is not enough anymore

The time when having a web site that could be accessed on mobile was enough is over. Most of time these sites deliver a poor experience and are hardly readable so they need to be completed by a mobile version or an application. That’s the minimum requirement. Then the mobile need being different from the desktop one and screens constraining uses, contents and actions need contextualization. Someone looking for an hotel, a restaurant or a product on his mobile does not have the same expectations and needs that those doing the same on their PC from home. There’s often an urgency and need for action.


On mobile information prevails over content

Globally speaking the word content is hackneyed and misleading. Contents have been used as hooks for search engines pastime for internauts lacking distraction. What has value is information, which is at the intersection of contents and context. It’s often true on PCs (even if one car surf as a pastime) but that’s  even more true on mobile, because of urgency. Context can come from geographical location, customer profile if logged and recognized or, in a more harsh fashion, on the knowledge one can have of the difference of what a distinguishes the mobile customer’s needs from the “sedentary” one and propose better information by default.


Interaction is a key engagement factor on mobile

There’s another engagement factor. By lack of information or because urgency requires specific answers, mobile increases the need for interactions and responsiveness. I won’t elaborate more on a matter that’s been discussed to many times. Beyond the site, the capability to easily engage on Twitter, Facebook and get an answer is essential.

Process as a contextualization factor and engagement lever on mobile

If context is key to engagement, information can’t come without the ability to act. I find the menu worth trying, the product is available, rooms look nice….so what ? Customers may be able to act : book, order etc. With contents only the customer is left in front of the shop window, making processes executable and transactions possible on mobile makes him enter the ship. Here again, it’s important to understand what actions customers need to perform when mobile.

Let’s take the example of airlines. At the very beginning it was possible to browse their site on mobile. Poor readability and impossible to perform any action. Then the site got optimized for mobile and some information prioritized. Then it was possible to book, register and order additional services online and the boarding card got digital. Travelers,once they leave home, do not use their airline site for the same reasons than when they’re home.

What drives engagement is to make the customer move from browsing to transaction. Imagine you’ll need to book an hotel unexpectedly. Two hotels nearby give you the information you need but only one allows online booking. If they’re quite similar in terms of quality and prices, guess which one you’ll choose ? QED.

Moreover,  as for customer relationship, humans behind Twitter and Facebook are not scalable so it’s important to empower customers to do as many operations by themselves without having to require human assistance.

Mobile is key for SMBs

Businesses often tend to think that mobile is a large business concern. That’s wrong. It’s a major concern for SMBs and local businesses because mobility often implies proximity. Unfortunately very few small businesses really get the challenge of mobile. For example 90% of restaurants don’t have mobile sites and 40% don’t publish their menu online. So many missed opportunities…


Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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