Mobile Experience: The One and Only

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A long time has gone by since the first mobile phones were presented in Tokyo, in 1979. Mobile phones are now so pervasive all over the world, that some venture to speak about a mobile phone revolution. Everyday a new story is heard about how mobile phones are revolutionizing the world, particularly in emerging economies such as the African ones. The most frequent examples mentioned are mobile money, the widespread access to internet thanks to mobile phones and its use in education. The following documentary uploaded on YouTube demonstrates the importance of mobiles phones, by reviewing the major aspects through which mobile phones are revolutionizing our current world:

How To Improve The Mobile Experience ?

Fast forward to 2015, one can see how Mobile is making waves and changing the way that consumers go about interacting online.The mobile experience is now so important that it has led some to question the customer experience from the point of view of consumers that only use mobile and no other type of device (such as a laptop or PC) for going online. Jaimy Szymanski and Brian Solis of Altimeter are analysts that have explored this very topic, seeking to understand the why and how of customers that may only use mobile to engage with businesses. They argue that:

“Prioritising the mobile customer experience is essential to thrive in a new era of mobile as the “first screen.”

The research demonstrates that as of the middle of 2014, mobile platforms made up 60% of time spent using digital media. It is thought that many companies underestimate the importance of mobile and are consequently not doing enough to adjust appropriately to the needs of mobile customers in the future. Indeed, the research shows that those companies that adjust to the demands of the mobile market will be more likely to lead the way in the future. Some companies are even considering and embracing a “mobile only” future. However, there are findings that have been made about how companies get to that point.

Seeing Mobile As Integral To Operations

What is necessary to do to develop the mobile experience ? In the early stages of embracing mobile, mobile is understood as being an area that has to be dealt with along with everything else, rather than being an area of key importance. This has a negative impact on customer experience, especially as the problem of multiscreen experiences is not necessarily dealt with effectively.  One finding was that in many cases there is too much of a focus on the technology rather than the desired user experience. There is a need instead to understand the frustrations and expectations that customers have that are specific to mobile. The researchers found that the companies that did best with mobile were not those considering it as an add on, but those that had made it to be integral to operations. These companies tended to have support at a senior level for mobile, as well as people leading change in the organisation to support it at all levels.

Importantly one big faux pas for organisations was found to be treating mobile as simply a “second screen” that customers use. This is a flawed approach because customers now in many cases use mobile as a first screen rather than a second. This is despite evidence that shows that customers are doing this – in some cases companies simply fail to believe. In many cases customers exclusively use mobile. This means that businesses need to invest in mobile, develop mobile-only designs and focus much more heavily on what these types of customers want, which may be different to what they want of another screen type such as laptop. Even though mobile has been around for only a short while, relatively, customers want to be able to use mobile apps to do what they want when and where they want to do it.

The Multi Screen Experience

One of the factors considered in the study is multi screening. This is explained to be when customers use more than one screen to accomplish a task. It has been shown that 90% of consumers will move between different devices to carry out a task. In some cases they may be forced to do so, and in others they choose to do so. Unfortunately in many cases because companies have not done a very good job of dealing with mobile, customers are forced to abandon their apps to carry out certain tasks. When this occurs it has been found that 51% of consumers will close the mobile app. It is questionable whether these customers will go back.

The Need To Pay Focused Attention in Mobile

The ways in which mobile is advancing will require businesses to take even greater steps. For example, people are increasingly using their mobile to pay for goods and services. It was estimated that in the years leading up to 2016 these types of payments would accelerate. As at the date of the research it was found that in some companies customers in 15% of cases were already paying with their phones. This means that organisations also need to adapt to mobile payments. Who knows what other innovations mobile will bring in the future. Companies need to adapt and they need to do it quickly.