The Pandemic Reshaped Mobile Customer Experience: 6 Things Brands Should Do Next 


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, discusses six things mobile-savvy brands are doing to keep up with consumer behavior since the pandemic, along with a five-step plan to create better mobile CX.

 Smartphones were already the primary devices for 92% of consumersOpens a new window  before the pandemic, but store shutdowns and social distancing needs turned mobile devices into lifelines. They also forced brands to quickly roll out new mobile tools and services to meet customers’ needs. Now, those new customer habits and mobile CX options are here to stay and will continue to evolve.

Worldwide, mobile data traffic grew 46% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, and the average smartphone owner now uses more than 10GB of data each month for work, social media, and shopping. Mobile activity notably increased over the previous holiday season, with Black Friday 2020 sales on smartphones up 25% over 2019 and making up over 40% of total online spending during that time.

Meanwhile, the global 5G network has grown by 20% 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 for an in-person service call.

The evolving combination of new consumer behaviors and new service capabilities should prompt brands to review their mobile CX, explore new strategies, and make a plan to improve.

Learn More:  How Ecommerce and Mobile Marketplaces Are Driving the Digital Economy

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 to wait on hold 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 that 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. Mobile ticketing for experiences

As venues reopen, we’re seeing more app-based ticketing for everything from travel to amusement parks to sporting events. 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. The contactless experience also follows social distancing protocols and streamlines the check-in process.

3. Branded customer support 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, have 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-person shopping isn’t possible or practical. For example, knowing what furniture will look like in your home is always challenging, even for in-person shoppers. One online furniture retailer has solved the problem by 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 wallet payments

Mobile wallet use grew by almost 50%Opens a new window  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. While many credit cards now offer contactless payments, others still don’t, but 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 like smartwatches 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.

Learn More: Calling All Mobile Marketers: Beat App Fatigue With These 3 Savvy Strategies 

Create a Better Mobile Customer Experience

Whatever kind of mobile CX programs a brand chooses to implement, these five planning steps are critical.

  1. Implement a measurement strategy based on your goals, like more mobile conversions or more sales during a specific time of day, to evaluate the results of your changes.
  2. Make sure that your mobile interactions empower the customer, save time or money, and reduce the inconvenience of a traditional experience.
  3. Use your customer journey to plan your mobile CX cadence. It should blend seamlessly into the customer’s day and their mobile usage habits without forcing them to change their behavior.
  4. Make sure that your customer experience is consistent and engaging across channels.
  5. Offer two-way communication options through your mobile CX. When customers 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. They also browse in-store, shop online, share feedback through mobile apps and contact your support team on social media. That means the key to truly outstanding mobile CX is understanding how all those interactions fit together, using mobile as the foundation. With that understanding, brands can use mobile to better connect and engage with customers today and in the future.