From the moment you start your career as a Customer Service consultant, there is no turning back: you will inevitably take a different perspective towards all service experiences you encounter professionally, as well as personally. When I notice something new or different in my customer service experiences, I cross check these with competitors and service organizations in different industries. This way I keep track of the maturity of Dutch service organizations and spot new trends!
In the coming weeks I will post a number of the, in my opinion, most interesting customer experience trends; kicking off this series with “the rise of the mobile customer experience and the decreasing importance of the phone as a service channel”.
The rise of the mobile customer experience
Retailers are constantly seeking new opportunities to connect with their customers and to provide them superior customer experiences. The use of mobile internet is (still) growing significantly. In the Netherlands, for instance, the volume of mobile data usage increased 21% in the last 6 months, while the more traditional mobile services such as sms are becoming less popular (-16%). Not surprisingly, retailers are keen on launching mobile websites and mobile apps. While initially mobile sites and applications might have been seen as just another sales channel, they offer opportunities for the entire customer journey from orientation, to purchasing and to after sales.
It appears to be challenging for retailers though to keep customers engaged via mobile apps. Features are frequently limited to shopping carts, store locator functionalities and viewing loyalty points. Mobile apps should offer the customer something extra, which should be relevant and fun, to continuously keep customers engaged. Think about offering customers a personalized reward when they’ve checked in 10 times, or in-store, location based mobile offers. The Neiman Marcus store in the US conducted a test letting customers communicate and interact directly with sales assistants via their mobile app. If a customer had downloaded the application and he or she walks into a Neiman Marcus store, sensors that interact with his or her mobile devices will kick into action. When that happens, alerts will be sent to the customer that let him or her know where in the store a preferred sales assistant might be working at that given moment in time. These are the fun elements that keep customers engaged!