Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Deploying a Mobile Application Isn’t Enough – Mobile Experience Analytics completes the puzzle

Deploying-A-Mobile-App

Deploying a Mobile Application Isn’t Enough – Mobile Experience Analytics completes the puzzle

Mobile Apps have become an integral part of everyday activities and a necessary part of how we all “do business”.  They are all the rage, and are only going to increase in popularity.  Gartner recommends that business leaders prioritize deploying mobile applications among their top initiatives for 2015.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently identified mobile banking as one of the four exciting breakthroughs in their annual letter to shareholders.  With so much emphasis on building and deploying new mobile applications, there is potential for missing a key part of successful mobile experience strategies – Evaluating what works, and what doesn’t – through analytics and reporting.  ClickFox has analyzed hundreds of mobile applications as an important part of customers’ journeys, and our key learnings are highlighted below.
We’ve learned that Mobile is an incredible channel for so many different reasons.  When done well, it can be incredibly popular and “sticky” for customers.  For one of our clients, 75% of their customers who use mobile – use mainly mobile – with little reliance on other channels.  On another front, because it’s instant gratification and self-service (interpret, no human), it’s a great indicator of true customer needs.  The sensitivity of having to justify to another human being why you’re calling for the 6th time in 2 days to check on the status of your payment  is gone.  Since the mobile application a) doesn’t judge and b) is RIGHT THERE and begging for your attention, customers just do it.  While not the primary benefit, in this way mobile can also provide an invaluable tool for prioritizing proactive strategies to meet customers’ insatiable appetite for information.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get everything right the first time you deploy your mobile application.  Visibility into usage patterns, most popular sections, journeys to abandonment, and least popular functions can drive critical identification and prioritization of the next steps to take.  For instance, what if you learn through analytics that for every 100 customers who begin utilizing the mobile application, 50 of them don’t return after their first 1 to 2 visits?  Or, what if you learn that the mobile application is incredibly functional for those that use it, but only a very small fraction of your customer base actually does so?  Those 2 very different insights would lead to executing dramatically different strategies for improving your mobile application.  In the first example, identifying the journeys taken that lead to abandonment, segmented by customer profile, would go a long way towards identifying the root cause of the problem.  In the second, it would be paramount to identify the types of customers who are “finding” the app on their own vs. not, and crafting marketing strategies to approach those who need prodding.
Mobile is an important piece of the puzzle, but not THE only piece of the puzzle.  Remember when 15 years ago prognosticators predicted the death of contact centers, as the web would take over everything?  We certainly have seen a substantial increase in the percentage of customer activity that migrates from live employees to the web, but it also has created a new phenomenon – more educated and empowered customers – who ask increasingly complex questions of your live representatives.  Mobile will be important, but, just like the web, it won’t be the end-all be-all.  Understanding not only how your mobile application is being used, but also identifying how it “fits” with all of the other touchpoints customers use during their journey is especially important.   Our research indicates that journeys are over 30% more predictive than individual events or moments of time for key business drivers such as customer satisfaction, complaints analysis and reducing churn.
Creating adequate logging must be one of your “pillars” during the deployment and modification of your mobile application.  Without a “cookie-crumb” trail of customer activity, time stamps, and customer identity when possible, understanding mobile behaviors and linking them to the broader journey will be impossible.  With tight IT resources and short deadlines, it can be tempting to sacrifice ample logging during the development phase, but this deploys an application on a shaky foundation to begin with and leads to long term viability concerns right out of the gate.
In conclusion, mobile applications are of increasing importance everywhere in the enterprise space, not only in serving customers.  It’s essential that leaders do three things as part of these projects to ensure they have a great mobile experience for their customers and employees.
1) Create a mobile application that offers customers and employees the options they’re looking to complete.
2) Create adequate logging and tracking so a record is made of the experience that can be analyzed later.
3) Analyze mobile experiences independently and in combination with other channels so that the full journey is understood and mobile enhancements are more grounded and strategic with understanding of the full customer or employee journey in mind.
Following these strategies can lead to a great mobile experience for your customers and employees.  To learn more about how ClickFox helps our customers with mobile and other channels as a part of the customer journey, visit www.clickfox.com.