At Apptentive, we strive to improve the mobile customer experience through better communication. To effectively do this, we’ve spent a lot of time studying the elements that make up an exceptional customer experience, and have used our research to develop best practices for the mobile industry. Since the beginning of our journey, we have noticed a shift: Businesses of all types are focusing more on customer experiences. But recently, it’s overtaken one place in particular: the C-suite.
Many companies understand that we’re in an era of increased customer control, so questions like, “How are our customers experiencing our product?” and “What’s our net promoter score (NPS)?” are being asked with increased frequency. Businesses may want to think about their customers’ experiences to stay competitive in this environment.
In the mobile realm, consumers have connected devices that give them a voice across a broad spectrum, and the use of mobile is accelerating like nothing we at Apptentive have ever seen before. Smartphones account for 60 percent of all mobile transactions in the United States in Q4 2015, up from 52 percent the year prior, according to Criteo's State of Mobile Commerce Report. Companies may benefit from focusing on customer experiences, and thinking about mobile and how to capitalize on this trend.
The Impact of an Amplified Customer Voice
The acceleration of mobile usage and the voice it gives customers may be having an affect on the C-suite: Many are realizing that vocal customers may affect their company's profits or losses. Potential and current customers may be paying close attention to ratings and reviews in places like app stores and Yelp. I often hear questions about how companies can mitigate and diminish the risk the customer voice presents. But the companies I've come in contact with that are winning have the opposite reaction—since they truly believe that customer experience matters, they’re proactively listening to these reviews.
Rather than having a reactionary strategy, companies may want to invest in their mobile customer experiences. It may be an effective way to use mobile as a listening platform that they’ve never had before. Through proactive conversations, being present and showing their customers they actually care, companies may be able to strengthen their overall customer experience by using mobile.
Augmenting the Mobile Customer Experience
Two questions you may want to ask yourself about your mobile customer experience are what can you do to increase your connection with customers and how can you proactively engage with them to augment their experience? Answering these questions may move your organization away from a tentative state and into a place of understanding.
Here are three ways companies could potentially (and proactively) augment their mobile customer experience:
- Send customers personalized messages. Proactive communication between companies and customers is personal on mobile and happens in the moment. Even just a small message—the company saying “Thank you!” when the customer completes a purchase in an app—may help enhance the overall experience. This type of communication may help businesses take a pulse of their customers’ activity and show them that the company is appreciative of their business.
- Involve the customer in the product roadmap. Consider using surveys or asking your customers what features they would like to see the most. This may help you understand what your customers value while you’re building your product roadmap. Customers will appreciate the questions and take it as a sign that you’re invested in making a product they’ll love.
- Trade NPS for NPS+. While net promoter score (NPS) is great for understanding customer sentiment, it doesn’t provide actionable insight into the customer's experience. By simply asking customers “Why did you choose this score?” after the traditional rating question and allowing them to provide unstructured feedback, companies may be able to contextualize the NPS score and understand where their customers think they’re doing well and where they need to improve. NPS+ provides companies with a better understanding of customer sentiment going forward.
Small-business owners and C-suite execs may be able to use mobile to gain a deeper understanding of their customer base, build valuable relationships with their customers and discover data-driven strategic direction they might have missed out on, which may help them manage and augment their customer experience.
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