Siva Ganeshanandan, Director, Digital Marketing Suite, Adobe APAC – @sivagatwork
Can you remember the release of the first IBM Simon smartphone in 1992? Web access is now a standard feature in even the most bare-bones mobile device, and mobile apps are a multi-billion dollar business. In countries such as India, mobile web access has outpaced desktop access for years. Smartphones remain hot connectivity tools and now tablets are also making their impact on the market. With an ever-increasing variety of devices to choose from, consumers are becoming more accessible on-the-go, with no sign of this trend slowing.
This means it’s imperative that businesses reach out to their growing mobile population. Of course, with these new opportunities come heavy implications: Make the user experience seamless and you create advocates for your brand and generate return business. Fail to deliver– and you drive the user to a competitor who is only a “swipe” away.
To maintain brand loyalty and customer retention, consumers should experience seamless engagement across multiple touch points. If the experience is fragmented by a failure to close the gap between the customer and the business, users will turn to a competitor. It comes down to this: How do companies differentiate themselves in this mobile landscape? – By delivering a superior experience to the end user.
And just as the consumer should have a seamless experience, enabling that experience should be just as easy behind the scenes. Businesses have to empower marketing and IT professionals to manage the experience their companies deliver intuitively without overwhelming them with multi-faceted mobile device support.
Here are five steps you can follow when you’re considering how to apply this to your own business.
- Understand what information or services customers are looking for on their mobile devices. What content do they need and where and when do they need it? How can a company make it easy for customers to do business with them? If customers want to share their experiences with you or their friends, how can you help them do that? Measurement and analytics technologies can help you pinpoint and analyse these kinds of behaviours. In some cases, it’s unrealistic to assume that all online content can be available on a mobile phone, but by working out what’s most useful to customers who are on the go, organisations can meet customer expectations and deliver outstanding experiences.
- Know what devices your customers are using. You’re going to need to deliver content that’s optimised for their specific phone or tablet to ensure the best experience. For example, applications should be able to interact with a vast range of screen sizes and screen resolutions, be able to handle various interaction patterns for touch screens, as well as distinct input sources such as cameras and GPS.
You can find solutions which provide granular details such as the users’ screen size and whether it is a touch screen or not. This will allow you to make adjustments to improve your user experience and you’ll start enjoying a competitive advantage by knowing and using the best platform to engage with mobile customers.
- Close the gap between all users involved both inside and outside your company. If managing your organisation’s customer experience is cumbersome and complicated for staff, then you can be pretty sure the end product will be impacted– and your customer can tell. On the other hand, experiences that can be intuitively managed by staff charge translate into optimised and engaging experiences for consumers. Empower your workforce by consolidating vendors and platforms involved in the process and providing tools that effectively simplify the authoring of mobile experiences.
- Give your employees the right tools for the job. Along those lines, employees involved in managing a company’s mobile presence should have a baseline report of analysis data that helps them consistently optimise experiences. Simplify the workload by equipping workers with the right tools.
Want to really futureproof your brand? Make your content work across multiple channels. Instead of designing content mainly for traditional desktop users in mind, make it your mission to always remember that mobile, social and cloud-based experiences are just as important. Can your content be shared as an app, or a link?