Mobile is not a device. It’s who and what we are.


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Mobile, mobility, smartphone and app are all buzzwords within customer service circles right now. As a result, many organizations are developing strategies for delivering mobile solutions to their customers that facilitate self-service and online purchases. However, if customer service professionals only think about how to transplant their existing solutions from the IVR or Web to the mobile form factor, then they are neglecting to understand the social transformation and cultural shift taking place today. The consequences mean you will become an irrelevant brand caught flat-footed in a dynamic, on-the-go, “mobile” marketplace.

Mobile is not a device. Rather, it is something we are. It represents our state of being and reflects our state of mind. Mobile, coupled with social media, influences our behavior because it conditions us for speed, therefore, demands instant gratification. So, consumers are already subconsciously making tradeoffs. For example, they prefer simple over complex, now versus later, quick as opposed to careful and public versus private. This has enormous implications for your brand and how you decide meet your Are we becoming more like Borg?customers’ needs. Loyal customers may allow you to fall behind for a while, but it will not be too long before they switch to someone else capable of mentally and physically keeping up with their mobile lifestyle. It will come to a point where it is simply too uncomfortable to continue doing business with you. Accelerating this mobile-social transformation in our society are things like ubiquitous wifi, 4G high speed networks and new products, like the much ballyhooed iWatch and Google Glass, which bring us ever-closer to becoming Borg tied into the Collective, making split second decisions based on real-time data.

With all this being said, merely having a mobile app isn’t enough. To remain a relevant brand, you must cater to your customers’ mobile sensibilities or run the risk of insulting them. For example, an app with blocks of text and tiny hyperlinks is unusable and worthless because it slows your speedy customers down. Therefore, you become worthless as well. Along the same lines, dialing a toll free number and using a keypad to navigate options is archaic and antiquated to users who want to look, tap and connect with a specialist who knows who they are and precisely how to help. This may be accomplished when mobile and social apps are a connected part of a smart cross-channel customer experience. The culture now considers it cruel to make customers call toll free numbers, start all over again, repeat account information and wait on hold. To provide an intelligent cross-channel experience means to seamlessly finish the conversation that began in your app…not begin a whole new one.

Companies must adapt to meet the needs of their always-connected customers or perish. Brands need to be mobile (as in nimble and agile) in order to engage their customers and keep them. For example, gamification is a captivating way to involve energetic, mobile customers with your brand. Rewarding them for interacting with you by accumulating points to earn products, privileges or badges works because is in alignment with your customers bustling, mobile lifestyle.

To delay getting started, to ignore the cultural and societal shift or to believe that your brand can’t effectively interact with customers on mobile devices is evidence that you have yet to understand what I have tried to explain…that mobile is not a device, platform or channel of communication. It’s who and what we are. You need to change your frame of mind when marketing your products and delivering customer service. It has defined the next generation of customers and has changed the way we must battle to win their hearts, minds and wallets forever.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eric Camulli
As Vice President for 7signal, Eric is focused on helping organizations bring high quality and highly productive experiences to people using Wi-Fi networks everywhere. In today's connected economy, our dependency on robust, reliable Wi-Fi is paramount. Eric is dedicated to ensuring that companies deliver peak wireless performance so that they can compete in a marketplace exploding with wireless devices.


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