Standing still is going backwards, a common expression that is especially true for businesses, startups and big multinationals alike. With digital breaking in a new era, digital transformation proves to be a steep mountain to climb for many companies, yet it’s a challenge that holds promising opportunities for those who succeed to overcome it.
To keep moving forward and avoid digital inertia, the only option is to scale. One of the keys to doing so we all carry in our pockets. When leveraged within the larger ecosystem that is your digital customer communications, mobile is the gateway to digital transformation and helps you push your business from partially digital to digital by default (A. Ask & S. Hammond, 2018).
More than a channel
In their H2 2017 Global Mobile Executive Online Survey, Forrester showed that 77% of firms using mobile to transform customer experiences say that their company understands the possible impact of mobile on their digital transformation, which is only the case for one in five companies that only use mobile as a channel. This comes to show that mobile is more than just a channel.
The smartphone is now the center of your customers’ connected universe. For businesses mobile has become a tool to improve their service and customer experience and generate more revenue. As for all digital channels, mobile allows you as a company to quickly collect and leverage real-time customer data. Yet to boost digital adoption, your customer experience must be frictionless. For mobile this comes down to responsiveness. As such it is the perfect medium to lower the threshold to digital and the quickest way to a faster go-to-market.
Starbucks for example sees their mobile services boost the profit per shop, as clients are able to order in advance and quickly pick up what they ordered in store. As a result waiting queues shorten and the number of happy clients increases. And so does the amount of valuable customer data to be used for ads or promotions.
Relevance, immediacy and simplicity
Digital consumers expect you to deliver the right communication via the channel they prefer. And when they want it, they want it immediately. This immediacy and relevance are key in all customer experiences, although experiences across devices or platforms should differ. Often this has to do with simplicity and ease of use.
For example: home banking allows us to complete transactions either on our desktop or via our smartphone. Doing so on a desktop often requires a longer process involving a terminal, a PIN and a challenge code. On smartphones these days a simple scan of a fingerprint does the trick. This simplicity of mobile is now making its mark as smartphone applications such as the Itsme app are triggering the reinventing of legacy processes. In other words, mobile drives the digitalization of customer experiences and innovates experience in the process.
But mobile can only transform your customer experience if it impacts the entire customer experience (A. Ask & S. Hammond, 2018). Besides digital channels you have to keep the link with your traditional ones. Let’s say if you enable your customers to pay by VISA or invoice and complete their transactions via the company app, you still have to make sure to integrate a documentation generation function. Because although digital-minded, business traveling customers will always want a print invoice to book their expenses.
However, mobile is but a smaller part of an increasingly bigger picture, an ecosystem of multiple tools such as marketing automation and customer communication management that enable you to create added value for your customers. Also, developing a mobile channel isn’t difficult but integrating it definitely is. Therefore you need to recruit people with data-analysis and artificial intelligence expertise in order to make your digital customer experiences more personal and conversational.
Furthermore, get everyone involved. Digital transformation isn’t achievable if one side of your business can’t sell what the other develops. Your business team needs to completely understand mobile and be aware of how it drives the customer experience (A. Ask & S. Hammond, 2018). Moreover, if you scale and boost digital adoption, your business processes will change. Get rid of legacy technology and processes. Many companies tend to make small, hesitant changes to their processes, but transformation demands redesigning your business on a larger scale. This is the only way to get optimal range out of your digital channels.
A. Ask, J., & S. Hammond, J. (2018, June 13). Digital transformation: Mobile is the catalyst. Digital transformation best practices: Scale your digital delivery engine to drive change. Retrieved July 10, 2018, from https://www.forrester.com/report/Digital+Transformation+Mobile+Is+The+Catalyst/-/E-RES143674#