Why Mobile Engagement Sometimes Fail – Even for Apple and Wireless Stores

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The mobile revolution will inevitably transform most companies business in the next decade and it will trigger a more radical transformation toward systems of engagement. Mobile engagement empowers people to take the next most likely action in their immediate context and in their moments of need.

A mobile customer journey management solution is the glue between the virtual and physical world empowering customers to act more freely, reserve a time with a service provider and understand where to get the fastest service. It also provides customers with the possibility to support their journey in a physical location making it a personalized experience.

Mobile Appointment Management
A mobile appointment and queue management solution by one of Europe’s largest retail bankers, Erste Group

For example with a mobile application, customers can join a queue and get directions before they arrive. In fact, it starts the moment they think of the service they need. Simply put, it reserves their place so that they are there before they arrive – saving time and improving efficiency. Customers can also make online appointments, they can dynamically manage their appointments and they can check in into locations when arriving.

However, it is crucial for service providers to manage all the customer journeys in an efficient way. I see too many examples of startups and also established suppliers giving bad advice to their clients. Just jumping on the mobile trend or allowing customers to start booking online without having a strategy and system to arrive all customers in an efficient, fair and smart way is doomed to failure.

Sometimes even companies like Apple fail in their ambition to manage all possible flow of customers into their stores. The example from twitter below shows the importance customers place on their personal time. If you have made an appointment with a service provider you do not expect to wait when arriving.

Apple Fail

Tweet by a frustrated Apple customer who ends up in a queue – despite having made an appointment online.

So not managing customers with appointment seamlessly with customers walking in can result in more negative comments from clients than before the system was implemented. You don’t for example want to have customers ending up in a queue for an appointment they did online.

The reason that this happens too often is that many technology suppliers don’t have a robust and dynamic queue engine in place. Sometimes they even abuse the word “appointments” and give service providers poor advice on how to implement and manage enterprise appointment systems resulting in extremely negative comments in social media:

fail3
Some of many negative comments on appointment and queue management implementations at major US Wireless retailers (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint).

Thus, do explore the opportunities with mobile engagement platforms and allow your customers to make appointments online and in their phones – with the promise of providing seamless journeys. But don’t forget all other customers arriving at your location. They are equally important – if sometimes not more – as your customers arriving through mobile journeys. And…

Never, ever break a promise to see a customer at the time you agreed to see them.

Picture courtesy and sources:
Qmatic
www.yelp.com
www.twitter.com

Sven-Olof Husmark
Sven-Olof is the founder of Experify, a business consultant firm, Senior Advisor at Egain Group a pioneer in intelligent AI driven energy optimization of buildings and former CMO at Qmatic Group, a world leader in creating better customer journeys.Sven-Olof is a senior executive with demonstrated success in growing companies globally by initiating effective sales, marketing and customer service strategies.

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