3 ways to provide customers with an optimal mobile experience

Charlie Moore | Oct 1, 2020 Charlie Moore 10/01/20

As of last June, 81% of Americans owned a smartphone. In the throes of this convenience revolution—as more consumers turn to their phones for research and to make purchases—the pressure for brands to provide a seamless and simple mobile experience has never been higher.

This trend is also prevalent in the more than 1 billion customer comments we’ve collected through our AI-powered text analytics solution. Customer mentions of a brand’s app or website have increased—but their overall satisfaction with the mobile experience is down.

To close that gap and keep pace with evolving consumer preferences, be sure your mobile experience strategy is able to do these 3 things:

  1. Support the entire customer journey

    While the steady increase in digital transactions has prompted most brands to start collecting experience management (XM) data at multiple touchpoints, not enough are taking the time and effort to sync up their datasets (or improve cross-channel strategies).

    This prevents brands from really understanding how digital interactions line up with customers’ in-store behaviors. And this gap represents a big problem. SMG research shows only 8% of companies say they provide a “very integrated” customer experience—but nearly 3 of 4 consumers are using multiple channels during their shopping journey.

    When customers experience disjointed channels, they see a disconnected brand. Make sure your digital channels are facilitating their needs rather than adding to their frustrations. And what’s the easiest way to do that? Assume the customers visiting your website or app are the same ones browsing your stores—and they want to experience the same brand.

  2. Allow for immediate customer feedback

    Consumers aren’t just using their phones to research and make purchases—they’re also using them to provide feedback on their experiences. Today, 65% of SMG surveys are taken on a mobile device—up from 50% last year. This is good news: collecting more in-the-moment feedback while experiences are still fresh in the customer’s mind is the best way to get accurate feedback. This shortened lag time—between the actual visit and when front-line teams can see the data via the real-time smg360 reporting platform and mobile app—helps brands get timely insights that lead to quick action.

    But before you can get to that actionable insight, you have to ask the right questions. SMG leverages nearly three decades of experience designing world-class surveys, helping brands connect with customers and gather specific information that links to financial results.

    To create a mobile-optimized survey that’s also user-friendly, we recommend a few best practices:

    • Seamlessly integrate the survey into your branded app
    • Use smart survey technology to trigger personalized surveys
    • Reduce the number of questions + keep surveys brief

    It’s also important to remember your customers aren’t the only ones living in this mobile-centric world. On the flip side, an intuitive mobile reporting app puts everything your field and location managers need to know in their pocket—so you can get from insight to action quickly without taking anyone off the front lines.

  3. Remain agile to accommodate shifting trends + rapid tech advancements

    Consumers’ mobile usage has steadily increased across all industries over the past 10 years, with SMG research showing c-stores seeing the most growth overall. That is, until this March.

    The onset of COVID-19 had a major impact on the restaurant industry, creating a significant spike in digital transactions as dining rooms closed and off-premise dining orders surged. Winning brands were the ones poised to accommodate this influx, with a seamless online/in-app ordering process already in place. But not all restaurants were this lucky. Many struggled to provide the contactless experience customers required and lost their loyalty to competitors who could.

    Though this has been a year of unprecedented change, SMG research shows even before the pandemic, companies’ mobile offerings haven’t always kept up with evolving customer expectations. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve seen some telling trends through our analysis of more than 1 billion customer comments. Our research not only shows an increase in mobile mentions over the past several years, but a decline in Overall Satisfaction scores when mobile was mentioned.

Don’t get swiped away—transform to win customer loyalty

While it’s impossible to prepare for the level of disruption the world has experienced lately, brands should keep agility top-of-mind as they continue to evaluate and evolve their digital strategies.

To learn more about what customers expect from their mobile experience and where to direct your efforts, download the best practice guide, Navigate the digital transformation without compromising on CX: 5 common pitfalls to avoid + 3 trends to adopt now

Charlie Moore | VP/GM, CX Solutions

Customer Experience Update