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Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

The mobile customer experience – failing to deliver

September 20, 2013 6 comments

Mobile Research Infographic

More and more of us are using mobile devices to interact with companies online. The combination of the ease of use of tablets and the fact that we always have our smartphones to hand, mean that for many it is fast becoming the default way of accessing the internet. Backing this up, consultancy IDATE predicts that by the middle of next year more people will get online through smartphones and tablets than PCs.

Consumers demand the same high standards on mobile as on the ‘traditional’ web. But our own research has found that they are being disappointed by brands. The 2013 Eptica Mobile Customer Experience Study discovered that websites are simply not delivering. 52% of consumers said that over half the websites they visited weren’t optimised for mobile devices. A shocking 16% said that they had difficulties with the majority of sites.

The top five key factors that put people off interacting with companies were:

  1. Sites that lacked functionality compared to standard sites (36%)
  2. Sites that were slow to load (34%)
  3. Sites that were difficult to navigate as they weren’t optimised for smaller screens (34%)
  4. Lack of an app for consumer’s device (22%)
  5. Difficult to find information on a company’s mobile site (18%)

Essentially companies are refusing to deal with customers on their channel of choice, potentially impacting businesses in three key areas:

1          Brand damage
Provide a poor experience and it will hurt your brand. Customers are quick to take to social media (using the same mobile devices) to share their bad experiences with their friends and wider networks, causing damage to your reputation.

2          Drop in sales
If you don’t provide a decent mobile experience, customers will simply head to your competitors that do understand the channel. Mobile is an essential part of the customer journey for many consumers, whether researching, buying or simply locating your nearest store. Fail to understand this and you’ll lose business now and in the future.

3          Increased costs
While some customers may simply walk away from a poor mobile experience, others that need to find information will switch to other channels. Whether that is calling, emailing or using social media to contact you, the likelihood is that dealing with these interactions will be through more expensive channels, increasing your operational costs.

You can see an infographic with all the results of the research, including some interesting gender differences here.

The tools to optimise the experience for mobile consumers are readily available and companies need to embrace them – before customers move to their rivals.

Time for insurance to start taking the tablets

August 9, 2013 1 comment

Photo of HP Tablet PC running MS Windows Table...

Delivering a straightforward yet engaging customer experience can be a major challenge in complex, highly regulated markets such as insurance. Companies need to make sure that customers understand what they are buying, but at the same time ensure they comply with stringent regulations. And while the majority of the industry has moved to internet-based selling of insurance there can be an enormous amount of paperwork involved in both taking out a policy and then making a claim, across an ecosystem that involves insurers, brokers and other partners. Differentiating yourself based on the customer experience has never been more vital – or potentially more difficult to enforce.

In Japan Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance is aiming to steal a march on the competition, improving the customer experience by equipping all of its 30,000 sales advisors with custom-designed Microsoft 8 tablet computers. This means that advisors will be able to replace physical documents with digital information, including videos that explain policies, making them simple to understand. It also enables Meiji Yasuda to streamline its processes, replacing paperwork with digital workflow, aided by the ability to sign documents on the tablet itself. Built-in high speed 4G (LTE) communications will link the tablets to corporate systems, and with all customer data stored centrally, confidential information remains secure if the tablet is lost or stolen.

There are some strong lessons here for UK insurers. While more and more insurance is bought online, those companies that do sell face to face can improve the customer experience by using technology such as tablets to make the process seamless and easy to understand. And for those that sell online, now is the time to revisit your website and ask five key questions:

  1. Is it easy for customers to find the information they are looking for without having to email or call?
  2. Does your site feature responsive design so that it works equally well on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones?
  3. Can customers get instant help from real people through web chat, triggered proactively and reactively?
  4. Does your website integrate with your overall business processes, or do staff have to rekey information or customers send in additional documents to meet your requirements?
  5. If customers do want to escalate to phone or email, are your systems joined up so that you can see the entire customer journey or will they have to repeat themselves when they switch channels?

The best way to answer these questions is to act like a customer. Try the customer journey yourself and bring in volunteers to test the experience and find any flaws. Collect feedback and act on it in order to ensure that you are not only delivering what your customers want but also increasing efficiency across your business.

Customer service? There’s an app for that

July 25, 2011 1 comment
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Last week Apple announced record quarterly results, with revenues of nearly $30 billion. The figures include sales of 9.2 million iPads, triple the number sold a year ago. Apple also revealed that 47% of Global Fortune 500 companies were testing the tablet ahead of potential adoption.

Clearly, the iPad in particular and tablet computers in general are here to stay. So what does this mean for customer service? Just like the growth of smartphones it creates a new channel for customers to interact with organisations. However due to the larger screens and better usability of tablets, consumers are likely to want to use them for more complicated and in-depth activities than smaller smartphones.

So organisations need to make sure that their customer service strategy can cope – while websites don’t need to be optimised for tablets it makes sense to evaluate whether you need to develop a distinct iPad (or Android) app to deliver value to customers. A number of UK banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest have already launched iPad apps as part of their customer service push, allowing users to check balances, move money and top up mobile phones.

If you do build an iPad app there are two key things to bear in mind. Firstly, you are essentially creating a new customer service channel. Ensure that it is integrated with your overall customer service infrastructure, sharing a single knowledgebase with existing channels such as web, phone and email. Make customer query information accessible by agents across all channels to prevent expensive and frustrating silo working springing up.

Secondly, use the power of the iPad. Given the size of the high resolution screen and built in connectivity, apps need to be graphical and use technology such as video to inform and engage customers.

With tablets expected to continue to take market share from traditional PCs now is the time to investigate adding applications to your customer service strategy.

 

 

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