Mobile usage has shot up since the pandemic hit the world. Meanwhile, 5G’s faster processing speed and data capacity allow brands to enhance mobile customer service with newer and advanced features. In this article, Mike Mafodda, director of interactive strategy, Digital CX at Capgemini Americas, discussesÂ six things mobile-savvy brands are doing to keep up with consumer behavior since the pandemic, along with aÂ five-step plan to create better mobile CX.
Â Smartphones were alreadyâ€¯theâ€¯primary devices forâ€¯92%â€¯ofâ€¯consumersOpens a new window â€¯before the pandemic, but store shutdowns and social distancing needsâ€¯turned mobile devices into lifelines. They alsoâ€¯forced brands to quickly roll out new mobile tools and servicesâ€¯to meet customers’ needs.â€¯Now, those newâ€¯customerâ€¯habits andâ€¯mobile CX options are here to stayâ€¯and will continue to evolve.
Worldwide,â€¯mobile data traffic grew 46%â€¯between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, and the average smartphone owner now uses more than 10GB of data each monthâ€¯for work,â€¯social media,â€¯andâ€¯shopping.â€¯Mobile activity notably increased over the previous holiday season, with Black Fridayâ€¯2020â€¯sales on smartphones up 25%â€¯over 2019 and making up over 40% of total online spendingâ€¯during that time.
Meanwhile,â€¯theâ€¯global 5G networkâ€¯has grownâ€¯by 20%â€¯since the start of 2021 and will carry more than half of global smartphone traffic by 2026 (Ericsson). 5G’s faster processing speed, and data capacity allow brands to enhance mobile customer service with features like real-time video chats to troubleshoot products and services without the need forâ€¯an in-personâ€¯service call.
The evolving combination of newâ€¯consumerâ€¯behaviorsâ€¯and new serviceâ€¯capabilitiesâ€¯should prompt brands to review their mobile CX, explore new strategies,â€¯and make a plan toâ€¯improve.
What Mobile-Savvy Brands Are Already Doing
Here are six ways we see brands using mobile now to improve CX.
1. Mobile customer service and tech support
Many customer support inquiries simply require data, not human interaction. For example, brands that use a third-party order-tracking app can show customers exactly where their order is on a map and when it will arrive without needing toâ€¯waitâ€¯on holdâ€¯to talk to a customer service representative.
When customers do need to speak to someone, mobile can improve the experience. Cable companies and consumer product manufacturers thatâ€¯combine mobile video calls with remote access can walk customers through instant fixes for many problems or resolve them remotely, without a service call.
2. Mobileâ€¯ticketing for experiences
As venues reopen, we’re seeing moreâ€¯app-basedâ€¯ticketing for everything from travel to amusement parks to sporting events.â€¯Customers can buy their tickets on their phones without standing in line or waiting on the phone, and there’s no paper ticket to get lost or damaged before the event.â€¯The contactless experience also follows social distancing protocols and streamlines the check-in process.
3. Brandedâ€¯customer supportâ€¯texts
Mobile push notifications are helpful, but they don’t stay in customers’ messaging history like text messages, which makes it impossible to refer to them later. Some brands, including at least one airline, haveâ€¯solved this problem by enabling customer service chat that switches to the user’s messaging platform automatically. Customers can get answers quickly, save the information, search for it later, and see that it’s authentic because those texts are branded.
4. Augmented reality-driven customer support
Augmented reality helps bridge the gap when in-personâ€¯shopping isn’t possible or practical. For example, knowing what furniture will look like in your homeâ€¯is always challenging, even for in-personâ€¯shoppers.â€¯Oneâ€¯online furniture retailerâ€¯hasâ€¯solved the problem byâ€¯inviting customers to upload photos of their rooms to their app, so they can select products and see how they’ll look in those rooms.
5. Contactless mobile walletâ€¯payments
Mobile wallet use grewâ€¯by almost 50%Opens a new window â€¯during the pandemic, in part because it makes online shopping seamless and more secure. Now, as people resume in-store shopping, many still want a contactless checkout experience.â€¯While many credit cards now offer contactless payments,â€¯othersâ€¯still don’t, butâ€¯smartphone users can opt-in to contactless payments linked to their digital wallet, tap their phone or scan a checkout QR code, and be on their way.
6. Wearable-enabled convenience
Smartphone-connected wearables likeâ€¯smartwatchesâ€¯can take mobile CX to a new level of convenience. For example, at a hotel that enables keyless room entry with an app, customers who have the app on their smartwatch don’t even need to take their phone out of their pocket or bag to get into their room.
Create a Better Mobile Customer Experience
Whatever kind of mobile CX programs a brand chooses to implement, these fiveâ€¯planningâ€¯steps are critical.
- Implement aâ€¯measurement strategyâ€¯based on your goals, like more mobile conversions or more sales during a specificâ€¯time of day, to evaluate theâ€¯results of your changes.
- Make sure thatâ€¯your mobileâ€¯interactionsâ€¯empower the customer,â€¯save timeâ€¯orâ€¯money, andâ€¯reduce the inconvenience of a traditional experience.
- Use your customer journey to planâ€¯your mobile CXâ€¯cadence.â€¯Itâ€¯shouldâ€¯blend seamlessly into theâ€¯customer’sâ€¯dayâ€¯and their mobile usage habits without forcing them to change their behavior.
- Make sure that yourâ€¯customer experienceâ€¯is consistent and engaging across channels.
- Offer two-wayâ€¯communicationâ€¯options through your mobile CX. Whenâ€¯customersâ€¯can bridge gaps by connecting with a person, they’re less likely to get frustrated or disengage.
Mobile Is the New CX Cornerstone
Although consumers use mobile for so many of their brand interactions now, it’s important to remember that they aren’t tied to a single channel. Theyâ€¯alsoâ€¯browse in-store,â€¯shop online, share feedback through mobile apps andâ€¯contactâ€¯your support team on social media. That means the key to truly outstanding mobile CX isâ€¯understanding howâ€¯all those interactionsâ€¯fit together, using mobile as the foundation.â€¯With that understanding, brands can useâ€¯mobile to better connect and engage with customersâ€¯todayâ€¯and in the future.