In recent times, there has been a rash of advertisements for mobile apps on India television. Majority of the apps seem to be of content reuse from the web delivered in a new form factor.
Mobile is a game changer if put to good use. With mobile, brands can contextualize the user interaction better, mesh offline and online information, and deliver amazing customer experiences. In emerging markets like India where infrastructure and third-party service providers are not on par with brand expectations, mobile enables brands to take control of the customer experiences by removing the dependence on the vagaries of the value chain.
For this to happen, organizations will have to move away from driving mobility initiatives from marketing or sales departments to outside-in through customer journey mapping – identify all the touch points with the customer, derive insights to contextualize the customer interaction, integrate with the enterprise systems, and deliver the right content for the interaction.
Let us look at the travel and hospitality industry in India.
We have OTAs, airlines, hotels, review sites all promoting their mobile apps. The underlying theme for installing the apps is freebies in the form of discounts on first purchase, etc. Airlines and hotels are sitting on a ton of information about customers and currently they are not leveraging any of this for mobile interactions. Even though, this is the differentiator that will drive customer adoption and engagement within mobile apps.
Recently, I was traveling from Delhi to Bangalore in my preferred carrier. I got an SMS that the flight was 2+ hours late when I reached the gate. The person at the gate advised me to go to the lounge. At the lounge the only way to get an update was to depend on the announcement as the flight details were not getting reflected correctly on the TV screens. The announcements were not clear and hence I missed my flight and spent another three hours to catch the next flight.
The value for a business traveler is to get in and out of the airport in the shortest time possible. Shouldn’t an airline targeting business traveler have its mobile app designed around the needs of these customers such as:
- Real-time updates of the flight timings especially at the airport
- Seamless access to wireless at the lounge
- Baggage arrival notification
Mobile provides location coordinates and also can leverage proximity tracking technologies such as iBeacons to transform these types of challenging situations into a positive brand experience.
When customers get real value from the mobile apps of their preferred brands, then app engagement will happen automatically!
Cover image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net