mobile and the customer experience image used for Sonya McCourt's blog

Mobile and the customer experience

Sonya McCourt, Head of Mobile, eir Business

Sonya McCourt

Head of Mobile, eir Business

News

The way in which organisations interact with their customers is changing as technology evolves. Customers are now choosing to communicate with brands via social media, internet chat and mobile. If they are to retain customers, brands need to take a customer centric approach and engage with customers on their preferred channel.

In Ireland, 70% of the population (2.37 million people) now own a smartphone. And we use our smartphones to access the internet in larger numbers than any other European country; 33% of all web access is via smartphones.

So, if you’re wondering where your customers are – they’re on their mobile phones!

Mobile and the customer experience has become a priority

With this shift towards mobile has come a customer who wants to engage with brands at a time that suits them, making it all the more important that businesses develop customer-friendly mobile experiences. A positive customer experience is quickly becoming the top reason customers choose a business; by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Vision Critical survey).

Companies that prioritise customer experience are more likely to be successful. The Vision Critical survey shows that those companies gained 43% in performance, compared to companies who didn’t focus on customer experience (they saw a 34% decrease in performance). The survey also showed that companies who use tools and strategies that improve customer experience win, with 84% of CIOs at customer-centric companies now focusing on the mobile customer experience.

eir Business customers are choosing mobile

We’re seeing this first-hand with our customers at eir Business. Companies like courier service Nightline, which is using mobile to improve its relationship with its customers. The company has equipped its drivers with tablet devices, which the drivers use to provide real-time information on the status of a delivery to the customer.

We’re also seeing airline CityJet making its customers’ entire journey mobile, from the initial booking right through to checking in, boarding the flight and arriving at a destination. CityJet is responding to the massive shift towards mobile in the travel industry; 43% of all travel bookings were made via smartphone in 2015 and that figure is expected to reach 52% in 2016.

We’re seeing that this mobile trend isn’t just a characteristic of the consumer world, the B2B sector also needs to make the mobile adjustment. Executives were arguably the first movers in mobile adoption, and according to IDG, mobile is the preferred device for executives conducting research during and after office hours; 92% of executives own a smartphone used for business and 77% use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business. And this research is overwhelmingly being done in the evenings (73% use their smartphones in the evenings and 82% use their tablets).

The case is clear, your customers are increasingly focused on their mobile devices and want to interact with you at a time that suits them. How quickly and effectively your business plans, develops and adapts to deliver a quality mobile experience will become a competitive advantage. While some businesses will still view the smartphone or tablet as just another channel, those who embrace a mobile-focused (even mobile-first) approach and deliver what their customers want, when they want it, will emerge as winners in this mobile world.