Going mobile: what questions should companies be focusing on?


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What role does mobile play in your industry? If this is a question that is difficult to answer, you are in good company as it is perplexing many web teams. For example, many of our life insurance industry customers tell us that web traffic from mobile devices is increasing, but cannot yet point to a compelling application for mobile users. Life insurance is a product that is not transactional in nature, and customers do not generally need to visit websites on a regular basis. Prospective customers’ tasks, such as calculating needs, getting a quote, or comparing products, do not intuitively sit comfortably in a mobile environment.

Their auto insurance colleagues of course quickly discovered their compelling application with the First Notice of Loss to capture critical time-sensitive information to start a claim, and to better control the claim process. This was a no-brainer as the mobile context – with smartphone features like GPS, the camera, and the ability to input simple data – suited the situation perfectly. But what about life insurance, is there a role for mobile applications or sites? That is not an easy question to answer but there are considerations that need to be taken into account while trying to do so.

When working out mobile strategies, many companies are focusing on the mobile site vs. app debate, but there are a number of more important issues that must be discussed beforehand. The first is to think about the context of visitors. Are they actually mobile, in need of a location-sensitive and maybe time-critical piece of information or functionality (such as their agent’s contact details or account access)? Or are they sitting on the couch with a half-hour to spare, catching up on a to-do list? In the latter case, there is scope for a more complex interaction.

The second consideration is: ‘what is it that people actually want to do on this mobile site?’ Any good customer experience – whether on a mobile site, a regular site, an intranet – has to be underpinned by a system of menus and links that support people in completing their key tasks. Without considering context and what people really want to do, trying to decide on an app or mobile site is putting the cart a few miles ahead of the horse. And considering these questions will make the next step – working out the detail of the mobile site (or app) – more successful.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Terry Golesworthy
As the president of The Customer Respect Group for 7 years, I focus on the online experience of consumers. Online experience has always been bigger than the company website, from the response to email to integration to other offline channels. It has now grown to include social media.


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