Making the Move to Mobile


Making the Move to Mobile

By TMCnet Special Guest
Dave King
  |  May 15, 2013

The days of single-channel, ask and answer surveys are gone. It’s imperative that companies become much more sophisticated in engaging all the channels, all the time – whether through an on-line survey, social media interaction, web analytics or good old-fashioned interactive voice response. All channels are valid and together can be much more powerful than on their own.

It is no secret that mobile is a tremendous opportunity for customer engagement. Almost every study conducted in 2012 concluded that brands want to do more with mobile. While the hype and hope is there, uncertainty lingers about exactly how to execute a mobile customer engagement strategy and what the impact of a successful campaign looks and feels like.

According to a recent survey, relatively few market research companies cater to respondents using smartphones or tablets for surveys. 62 percent of these companies either do not have a policy for web surveys that land on mobile screens or they don’t modify surveys for viewing on small screens, even though the majority of consumers interact with brands via mobile.

As mobile devices continue to proliferate, they're becoming a vital channel for collecting in-the-moment insights. When done right, mobility makes a huge difference on both sides of the customer survey equation – for those asking and answering the questions.

As companies compete to gain deeper, more relevant customer insights, mobile devices present a host of opportunities. Photos, audio and video all offer new ways for customers to provide incredibly rich, multimedia feedback. Additionally, mobile devices can facilitate trigger-generated customer engagement via location-based applications, and can be used by employees to gather face-to-face feedback in a format that’s familiar to the customer.

For companies that want to gain a holistic view of their customers, mobile offers benefits that allow businesses to develop a two-way conversation with customers, creating a shift from monologue to dialogue. In some cases, adding this channel to the feedback loop helps companies engage with a previously hard-to-reach customer group, such as young people or business people. 

Many customer respondents appreciate the convenience that comes with mobile feedback, and find the user experience better and more streamlined. Unlike in-person questionnaires or in-store interfaces that entail an unfamiliar computer or device, those that run on the mobile device use technology that's familiar to the user. This makes for a low learning curve, which help to keep response rates high.

Today’s multi-tasking consumers look for ways to stay connected, and productive, as they go about their daily lives. The mobile channel enables surveys to be done during user’s cracks in the day waiting in line or before a meeting starts.

If the interface allows customers to save answers until later and is optimized for mobile devices, they will be drawn to it and more likely to interact the next time around. In general, their enthusiasm is likely to be higher, as they won't see the company interaction as overly interruptive to their days.

Whether you like it or not, your customers have gone mobile, which means you have to as well. The mobile device has become a vital customer communications channel.

If you’re already capturing feedback, that’s an important first step. Make sure you have the technology and systems in place to ensure you’re able to include mobile in the mix.

A successful engagement program will constantly adjust its targets according to these factors. It is a never-ending game that requires a keen understanding of the market landscape. By doing this effectively, organizations keep the VoC program fresh and evolving with the business.

As with any customer engagement program, via any channel, avoid these pitfalls:

1.      no follow-up to customer requests or complaints

2.      survey burn-out: over-surveying the same individuals

3.      missed opportunities to reward employees that receive positive feedback

4.      not incorporating positive feedback into a marketing case study or reference account

5.      results too high-level to be meaningful and actionable

6.      results delivered too late to impact customer loyalty

7.      results hoarded by a single department

With mobile, you must excite, involve, listen and entertain if you want to maintain communication – mobile users will disengage faster than from any other medium and except a higher level of engagement.

For any new process and organizational change to take place, leaders from all business units must take part. If this is your organization’s first foray into mobile engagement, get as many people excited and involved as possible. After all, the results should become assets across the company, at all levels and in all departments, to drive change.

Dave King is executive vice president of mobile solutions at Confirmit (News - Alert) (

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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