Being friends with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would be tough. See him at a party and he’s all jolly and fun, then run into him at the supermarket and he’s a belligerent jerk. It’s tough to regularly get two completely different experiences with one entity.
A recent Forrester report indicated that only 46 percent of companies have even started tracking mobile app analytics. Likely, an even smaller fraction of those companies are taking the time to understand how their mobile experience syncs up with their customer’s website experience.
Recently, I had the experience of having a company tell me I needed to treat their website and their mobile app as two separate entities. While this may make sense internally, it’s extremely confusing to customers. Providing two separate customer service experiences, pricing models, promotional codes, and more can make your company seem inconsistent to your customers at best.
When I was instructed to view the two platforms as separate entities, I voiced my concern. Why could I only get a refund via the website where prices were inherently higher? Why couldn’t I cancel orders I’d made via the mobile app through the mobile app? The company didn’t blink. They simply explained that their model did not allow for a full, consistent user experience on either platform. They explained it was my job as the user to remember that each platform was different.
This is a huge gap for many reasons. For one, there’s never a reason to make your customer’s job harder. User experience should allow the customer’s interaction with your brand to be both consistent and easy. Making your strategy inconsistent is inherently harder for customers and makes it less likely that your interaction with them will convert to a sale. Naturally, decreasing sales is not the goal of your marketing efforts.
Marketing strategy aside, you lose an incredible amount of customer insight by treating each of your platforms separately. Without a united front, there is no way to gain a 360 degree view of your customers’ experience. You cannot fully understand which promotions your clients may be interested in, their buying patterns, or their level of loyalty if you cannot see all their data in one place. Even worse, you cannot appropriately equip your customer service representatives to assist your customers without the full breadth of their history being easily accessed.
What then does this ultimately lead to? Why, that’s simple. It leads to customer attrition. They may not leave the first time they encounter a poor experience, but over time, you’re teaching them that you do not value their time. Your analytics will not help you keep these customers because you cannot use your data to gain a holistic view of what they’re going through. Ultimately, you won’t see until it’s too late that customers are leaving: you’ll see this through decreased sales. And when you do see a decrease in sales? It will be extremely difficult to determine why without the data to explain the situation.
Your enterprise should provide the same experience for customers however they interact with you. It leads to increased sales, better customer service, and increased insight into how to keep those customers coming back for more. Generally speaking, in a retail environment you only convert 2–7 percent of customers who reach your digital property. Don’t make it harder to increase an already tough conversion process. Email campaigns that integrate customer information are 10 times more likely to see conversion that those that don’t. When you extend this beyond your email campaigns, the chances for conversion only increase. Seems pretty simple when you think about it. So why is it so hard for some big brands to understand?
How is your enterprise working toward being the same “you” wherever customers interact with you?