Brands are playing ‘catch-up’ to the mobile consumer - Forrester Study

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The majority of brands are a long way from building the ‘digital organisation’ they need to engage with a new generation of mobile consumer, a new study has found.

Creating meaningful connections with consumers through online and mobile channels is critical to brands wanting to win and retain customers today - Reuben White, LivePerson

The majority of brands are a long way from building the ‘digital organisation’ they need to engage with a new generation of mobile consumer, a new study has found.

The LivePerson commissioned Forrester Consulting study of 135 customer experience strategy decision-makers at enterprises in the US, the UK, and Germany, revealed that many brands are playing ‘catch-up’ to their increasingly mobile consumers when it comes to online customer service.

Forrester says the fast growing number of smartphone users - predicted to rise to 2.3 billion people by 2017 – has already created a seismic shift in the way customers choose to engage with brands and the majority of brands are struggling to adapt.

However, the study did find that the small number of ‘digitally mature’ organizations spearheading mobile customer strategy share a similarity in approach to in three ways:

  •     Senior support of mobile initiatives. The foundational measure of a company’s mobile maturity is support from senior executives. These executives must understand that mobile is a strategic initiative and champion efforts to increase mobile capabilities.
  •     A focus on customer-centric mobile experiences. These companies use mobile to serve customers and build loyalty rather than increase brand awareness or appear innovative. They design mobile services to support customers quickly and easily in their moment of need.
  •     Defined best practices guiding all employees working on mobile. These companies use context, engineer their platforms and processes to specifically support mobile users, and measure and analyze performance to improve the experience.

Mobile and social are top emerging digital priorities.

Forrester highlighted mobile, along with social as the top emerging digital priorities, with mobile’s importance in delivering a best-in-class customer experience continuing to grow ‘at breakneck speed’ as customers become more comfortable completing complex tasks on those devices.

However, both mobile and social touchpoints are underserved by businesses.
For mobile apps, interactions are commonly limited to store locators and upper funnel marketing (see Figure 7). Companies are often missing important elements of service, including:

  •     Sales capabilities. Only 52% of the companies surveyed have a transactional mobile app. To effectively drive up conversion metrics, companies can offer alternative payments methods like PayPal and remove friction from the mobile purchase process by reducing manual data entry, such as by storing personal/credit card information to the customer’s universal profile.
  •     Self-service capabilities. Only 26% of companies surveyed offer self-service tools for consumers via their mobile application. This is a huge missed opportunity for companies. Consumers who download apps often rely on them as a central point of information. It’s imperative that consumers can use their mobile device to access product, service, and account data that is also available in other channels.
  •     Chat and messaging. Forty-five percent of market leaders offer chat or mobile messaging support via their mobile application, compared with less than a third of others.

Forrester determined that organizations that place digital at the heart of their customer engagement strategy are more likely to be market leaders in their industry and more likely to achieve or surpass company revenue targets.

“Creating meaningful connections with consumers through online and mobile channels is critical to brands wanting to win and retain customers today,” says Reuben White, Regional Director Northern EMEA, at LivePerson. “We have seen a fundamental shift in consumer expectations and increasing consumer frustration with traditional channels such as voice. Consumers use their smartphones predominantly for messaging so brands need to act now or lose out to more innovative competitors.”

Digitally mature companies are delivering improved customer service across all channels while lowering costs and driving customer satisfaction.

The full study ‘Playing catch-up to consumers’, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of LivePerson, can be downloaded for free here.

http://info.liveperson.com/Forrester-Catch-Up-with-Consumers_LP.html

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Ross Furlong
Furlong PR
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