Prior to the days of the Internet, businesses were very limited by the number of options they had for communicating with their customers, making it difficult to build brand loyalty on a broad scale. But thanks to the ever-evolving technology, the ways in which businesses are able to connect with the customers has changed and improved drastically. Today, in the digital age, small and large companies alike are leveraging mobile technology and social media together, interacting with their most loyal customers in ways that are convenient for both parties involved.
The Popularity of Mobile Devices
With the majority of the population now operating smartphones, more and more people are choosing to access the Internet from these devices, and it’s clear to see why mobile has become such an important factor of a marketing strategy. As self-service continues to rise and the trend of smartphone usage continues to push the customer experience forward, customers will also have more control in the way connect and engage with their favorite brands, products, and services.
And as consumers become increasingly connected with companies through these mobile devices, the more willing they are to engage with these brands, even if on the move. As a matter of fact, according to a 2013 survey by mBlox, more than half of the respondents that were surveyed claimed that they find text and push message notifications from other companies to be valuable. What is even more interesting is that 80% of these consumers said that they would be willing to share information, such as phone number, email, etc., with brands in order to receive these notifications.
If there is anything businesses can learn from this study, it’s that today’s mobile consumers are more interested in having a genuine relationship with the brands they feel they have a personal connection with, and it’s the savvy brands that are discovering and implementing the most engaging techniques to appeal to consumers in order to create and develop these relationships.
Networking, Communication & Development
As long as customers have access to the Internet, mobile technology can give companies the opportunity to connect with their customers on an unprecedented level of connectivity with real-time communication. Customers can download applications on their smartphone that allow them to connect with a brand via social media, view and download product information, order and purchase, file inquiries, and much more.
Though we live in an age where most of us cannot live a day without looking at our smartphones or tablets, customers still desire a personalized, friendly experience, even when the conversation is occurring online. Simply directing people to a FAQ page or contact number is no longer enough to keep customers satisfied.
Because of the widespread mobile adoption across the world, businesses have been driven to provide their customers with a 24/7 presence, especially on social media sites. As soon as someone shares a public complaint about a particular brand, that Tweet or wall post is out there for the world to see until it’s taken care of.
Furthermore, due to the interactive nature of mobile technology, customers are able to give businesses immediate feedback about their products and services when using this medium. While emailing surveys and asking customers to supply their thoughts and feelings can still be an effective means of collecting information for market research, the speed and accessibility of this technology serves as a catalyst to this research and lead to faster development of new products and services.
When used effectively, businesses can foster positive and ongoing relationships with their customers through the use of forums, feedback options, surveys and other ways of communicating directly with their customers. Using these tools makes the customer feel that they matter, that their opinion is important and the business is actually listening to them.
When you listen to your customer’s point of view, then you can better address their concerns and ultimately give them exactly what they want. This type of customer service based relationship is what keeps them coming back for more.
There can also be a downside to these more efficient methods. Think of how frustrating it can be when you cannot reach a “real person” on the phone and are shuffling through a myriad of menu choices on an automated system. One slip of the finger and you could be sent back to the beginning or you might hear a pre-recorded voice telling you goodbye before you have actually completed your transaction.
With all these technologies available, it is important that businesses stay in tune with the mobile age as it is clearly the choice many customers are making when doing business. Especially when the holidays are approaching, it is more important than ever for businesses to use whatever means necessary to remain in the black.
How does your business leverage mobile technology? How has this technology impacted your customer service? What other tools does your business use for customer service?