Adopt a Mobile-First Approach to Customer Engagement
The future of mobile is now.
It’s here and there’s no denying it. It’s not something you can just easily “tap” or “swipe” away.
It’s just like what Jerry Dischler, Google’s Vice President of Product Management for AdWords, said some time ago. Prophetic words coming to past.
The growth of mobile internet is truly remarkable, and it encompasses almost every facet of consumers’ lives. The world now has 5.11 billion unique mobile users, 4.39 billion of which uses the Internet, and 3.26 billion access their social media accounts through their mobile phones.
It’s definitely not a fad anymore.
Although the number of Australians using the Internet remained the same from last year, the number of mobile social media users from Down Under increased by 6.7%. These figures are expected to grow even more in subsequent periods, with an expected 19.27 million mobile internet users going online by 2022.
As a business coach for small and medium businesses, I can say that businesses would definitely miss out on big deals if they fail to adopt a mobile-first strategy when engaging customers. Consumer trends say so, as most consumers prefer the use of mobile devices when looking for information on products or services they plan to purchase.
Adopting a mobile-first approach goes beyond merely adjusting your channels for mobile screen sizes. It entails a different approach which I will now share with you in the following marketing principles.
Adopt a Mobile-First Website
You website is the hub of your customer engagement strategy. A website that is not optimised and certified by Google for mobile-friendliness will drive mobile-first customers and prevent your marketing campaigns from fully taking off.
The move towards responsive, mobile-friendly websites started when Google once more switched algorithms and placed more importance on mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in search results.
Google actually made the recommendation that it would be best to use responsive web design to give the best customer experience, whether they’re viewing it on desktops or mobile gadgets. Responsive, mobile-friendly design could earn you a mobile-friendly tag from Google, telling users that your site will look best whatever browser they’re using.
Remember, it only takes a few seconds after opening your site before users decide to leave or not. If they are using their mobile devices and find your site not mobile friendly, chances are that visitors will leave within five seconds.
Adopt a Mobile-First App
A mobile-first customer not only expects brands, companies, and retailers to have and maintain a mobile presence not only through a responsive and mobile-friendly website but also through a fully functional and very convenient mobile app.
You might have the misconception that mobile apps are the territory of big-name brands. Don’t be mislead as even small to medium business can take advantage of a mobile-first marketing strategy that revolves around the use of both an app and a website.
This is one aspect that many companies have yet to embrace or implement. Or if they’ve already jumped into the bandwagon and develop their own app, customers soon find out that it’s applicable only to Android users. What about those who get their fix from iTunes? You should consider this when developing the app for your business.
Adopt a Mobile-First Content Strategy
Customer engagement from a mobile-first perspective requires the use of content from a unique mobile-first context. The period we are right now is what Google calls as “The Age of Assistance” where smartphone-hooked customers rely on how fast they make a Google search and look for the information they want.
On-demand information is what customers are looking for right now, so it is imperative that you develop strategies that cater to this need for immediacy. This applies not only to your website but to all your platforms, particularly if you’re adopting a multi-channel or an omnichannel approach to marketing.
Your content should be precise and concise, with the juiciest sections appearing above the fold or on a single page. Use strong headlines that are short enough to fit the area above the fold. Avoid using extremely large fonts as these would look ridiculous on mobile gadgets.
Take note that mobile users are more familiar with “taps” and “swipes” when engaging with websites and content. Make sure that you have enough space for them to tap on links, buttons, and other elements.
Adopt Mobile-First Artificial Intelligence
You might not yet be aware but there are several Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools available that can help provide your clients with personalised customer experience. One of the most widely used tools includes Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications that can be used or integrated with analytics programs.
Such systems will give you a deeper insight into your customers’ preferences and online behaviors. This will further improve the customer experience, create a more efficient and more personalised engagement, and help deepen your relationships and loyalty from customers.
Adopt Mobile-First Direct Messaging Apps
Studies show that six out of the top ten most widely used mobile apps are actually messaging apps. So why not adopt the popularity and effectivity of such application into your own mobile-first marketing journey as well?
Customers are proven to have the tendency of simply messaging and connecting with a brand or business, then taking the time to look for a number and call up customer service. You can now make use of a wide array of direct messaging applications including chatbots, automated messaging services, direct messaging apps, real-time chat portals, and even SMS or text messaging portals.
Adopt Mobile-First Payment Gateways
eCommerce in Australia is expected to hit levels of up to $21,224m this 2019, with an expected annual growth rate of 6.2%, eventually hitting levels of up to $26,993m by the year 2023. It just goes to show that Aussies are comfortable and are very much ready to embrace a mobile-first strategy.
Prepare for this and equip your online channels with a mobile-first payment gateway that allows clients convenient and more simplified ways of doing business. Allow for easy-to-execute retail transactions or allow options where they can transact business with you through mobile banking.
Adopt a Mobile-First Customer Feedback System
Getting a pulse of what your customers are feeling about your brand or company is important to continuous improvement. It would be best to integrate a real-time customer feedback system to give you a clear and more insightful take on what’s needed to deliver an awesome customer experience to your clients.
Of course, making personal, outbound calls for getting customer feedback still works but used in conjunction with post-interaction surveys, online feedback systems, and other manual or automated customer experience tools will get the job done better even more.
Adopt a Mobile-First Loyalty Program
Text messaging and SMS is still the most-used feature on smartphones and other mobile devices. It is a reliable and dependable platform for reaching us and engaging with clients and prospects.
When used in conjunction with promotional offers and loyalty programs, it will further enhance the customer experience, further delighting and gaining loyalty from your customers.
The mobile web is indeed the next wave of the internet for the future. This premise holds more sway now that the mobile web surpassed desktop and laptop usage. Google, and the rest of the Internet world for that matter has given more importance to mobile-first elements and businesses should follow suit.
As your small business consultant, I now encourage more than ever for you to refocus your marketing strategies, optimise your websites, content and other elements towards a mobile-first approach to customer engagement.
There’s a humongous pool of mobile-first users out there, very ready for engagement with innovative businesses and marketers who are willing to change and adopt a mobile-first approach.
Mobile-first users… all potential customers.
Are you ready for them?