Everything is going mobile


One out of every seven minutes of media consumption today takes place on mobile devices, according to new research from IPG’s Universal McCann and AOL. How can companies prepare for – and communicate with – their customers in the mobile age?

For many organisations, throwing out the existing rulebook might be a good start. Too many firms still think of customers and customer service in an old world style.

Such old world thinking suggests customers are people that usually buy from you in a face-to-face format, where service is all about building interaction and managing delivery. And that’s where the catch comes.

Interaction and delivery are crucial but such tenets of customer service need to be managed across a series of channels – from face-to-face to internet, and from call centres to mobile devices.

Mobile might seem like a fairly insignificant element of the customer service puzzle right now, with analyst Freeform Dynamics suggesting as much as 60% of users rarely or never take advantage of advanced services such as information, navigation and social networking.

Expect that picture to change and quickly. As stated above, individuals are already consuming media on mobile devices and that is simply the starting point, with mobile usage expected to grow by as much as 60% by 2011.

Such growth needs a strategy. Do not make the mistake that many firms made on the transition from old world selling to web-enabled delivery. Too many companies bolt internet and call centre offerings to existing face-to-face services.

Integration should be your watchword and you should identify the existing services that your customers could use to connect with you through a mobile device. People use mobile phones on the move and on an ad-hoc basis.

The success of the apps service on Apple’s iPhone shows that individuals are simply looking for useful tools that can help them fill otherwise dead time. Such tools could be games or enterprise apps, but they might be a sales channel to your company – and you need to plan accordingly.

Analyse mobile devices, speak to your customers and develop an interface that helps your customers speak to – and buy from – your business. Such developments could take the form of an advocacy network on Twitter, where customers help to spread the benefits of your service.

The developments could also take the form of mobile payments, one of the fastest growing areas of online purchasing. Think, plan and integrate your customer delivery interface across all channels.

You have been warned. Don’t get left behind in the old world because the age of mobility is fast approaching.

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