June 11, 2012 | JJ Cramer

It's Not the Size of the Screen That Matters


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So, this is the Year of the Mobile? I’ve been hearing this for years. Who are we kidding? Mobile has been around for years now and has made a huge impact in the retail space, in the B2B arena, and even in e-government. So let’s stop treating mobile like a Zodiac you see on a Chinese restaurant place mat and face the reality head on. It’s here and it’s here to stay. The problem is, many companies don’t know what to do about it – how to plan for it, how to use it to their advantage, and how to measure it properly to enhance the customer experience.

Far too many businesses think of the mobile experience as a scaled down, lesser version of the desktop or laptop web experience.  I can’t blame them really.  On certain levels this makes sense.  Right? I mean, the screen is smaller. The keyboards are smaller. Therefore, the design mentality tends to be smaller, too. “How do we scale down the web experience to fit a mobile device?” tends to be what companies continue to dredge upon. However, this is the wrong question to focus on and a perspective that is susceptible to a weak customer experience.  And we all know it’s all about customer satisfaction, right?

Mobile devices may be small in stature, but they have big capabilities that are quite unique.  Mobile offers great potential because it is:

  • Location aware;
  • Highly portable with simultaneous companion channel use (in-store use for example); and can
  • Provide touch-based interaction; and
  • Enable interaction with external environment (scanning, pics, video, etc.)

These components are capable of enhancing customer relationships and experiences with your brand.

A great example of this is the ability for a bank customer to scan checks for deposit into their account via a smartphone or tablet device.  This cannot be done on a PC.  How about the ability to scan a product’s barcode and get immediate price comparisons (while in a store) and to find the product availability from an online retailer?  These are just a few examples of how mobile interaction can add value to and strengthen the customer relationship.

ForeSee Blog MobileThe reality for most of us is that we’ve had our website for decades and we’ve built our design mentality on how to bring this experience into mobile.  It makes rudimentary sense – we start with what we know and we go from there.  I get it. But many companies don’t know their mobile users – who they are, why they are there, where they are, and how to utilize unique mobile enabled services for better customer relationships.  Why?  Companies struggle to see the impact that mobile plays on other channels and the company as a whole because they don’t know how to successfully measure the full value of the mobile experience.

Many businesses look at mobile simply as a channel of transactional value – how much revenue or audience reach they get.  But the truth is: mobile has a powerful influence on the customer journey to purchase.  Customers don’t always have a page view or time spent in store, but they have an experience wherever and whenever they interact with your brand.  And this experience does impact their behavior toward your product or service in their journey across channels.  While mobile may not be a dominant portion of your customer base or reach right now, it is highly influential in the customer’s journey. And measuring this experience becomes critical in order to survive in this ultra-competitive multi-channel, multi-device environment.

For that, you need a reliable and accurate technology that can measure the customer experience at the point of engagement to tell you how you are doing, what you can do to improve, and why you should do it. It comes down to the fact that customer satisfaction directly influences the customers’ decision to purchase, purchase again in the future, recommend your company to others, and remain a loyal customer. These all drive the financial success of your company. So it’s time to put down the menu and start creating mobile experiences that support your company because the Year of the Mobile was yesterday.

Those are my thoughts, now let me hear yours…

About the Author

As ForeSee’s Director of Sales, Mobile, JJ Cramer contributes to the development of institutional knowledge about the mobile customer experience, influences product innovation for ForeSee’s mobile solutions, and collaborates with ForeSee’s sales team to support clients. JJ has over 10 years of experience in digital research and is an expert in online custom research and customer analysis. JJ holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree from Springfield College. He is a former professional tennis player and has been with ForeSee since 2010.

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