As any customer service representative, concierge, waiter or front-line team member knows, customer experience is not something that’s managed from a desk in a head office – it happens on the floor where your customers are and it happens in the moment. Ultimately what customers look for is authentic human connections, and while sometimes technology can serve customers directly, it’s most often an invisible tool that enables staff to do what they do better and more efficiently.
Some of the main benefits of mobile technology to the customer experience include increasing the level of personalization offered to the customer; making information more readily accessible; making shopping more efficient; and helping address service issues by putting customers in touch with the right people in a timely way. See below for an overview of the mobile technologies shaping customer experience:
Voice activated services
Voice activated devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa have already made their mark in the home, and in some hotel rooms, but voice commands will likely take hold more and more when it comes to mobile devices too. The better voice recognition technology becomes, the less we will have to stare down at a screen to get things done. When we are free to look around and experience physical spaces as intended we can create stronger connections without having a disconnect between our online and offline worlds.
Block Chain, while often associated with financial services, has a number of applications that help extend the in-venue experience of businesses. In fact, Gartner predicts the total business value-add of blockchain to reach $3.1 trillion by 2030.
At NRF 2019, a group of leading retail brands launched an initiative to demonstrate how “gamified digital objects” on blockchain could deliver more engaging customer experiences. The initiative was a virtual treasure hunt where people could capture virtual butterflies and other objects on their mobile device by spotting them on a map, or “capturing” them in augmented reality. Each butterfly carried unexpected prizes like gift cards to delight attendees.
Blockchain can also be used to make the customer experience more secure. Customer records and mobile transactions have the potential to exist in a decentralized way on the blockchain. Whether it’s paying for a restaurant bill with friends, making in-app purchases or shopping for products, blockchain technology can improve the security and transparency of these transactions.
Real-time feedback and service responses are set to become an expectation amongst consumers. Customers who are having a negative experience will feel more capable of reporting their issues and trusting that the issues can be resolved. So while previously you could count on a number of customers to “write off” their experience, many more will now seek ways to improve it before they leave. Of course, this requires service teams to be equipped with mobile devices that display feedback and allows them to collaborate with other team members.
The timing of feedback questions and the questions themselves are crucial to obtaining valuable feedback that can be actioned. At a macro level, feedback can also be used to identify patterns or trends in service issues. Lastly, asking for feedback in-the-moment can be a way for businesses to find out unknown customers. Novotel Amsterdam City implemented real-time feedback to help them find out about the people visiting their bars and restaurants. Not only did they gain 7,500 extra reviews for the year but they improved their total guest satisfaction score by 2 points.
With customers using their mobile devices for just about everything now, the next question is how mobile-ready are your teams?