An interesting event this morning on “Redefining the Customer Experience using Mobile” hosted by the Institute of Directors (Young Directors Forum) held at the Alchemist in Manchester’s Spinningfields.
In addition to some mind-boggling stats about the proliferation of mobile connections and apps being launched on a daily basis, the overarching message for businesses is that the mobile tech opportunity whittles down to three key advantages:
1. Better customer information
2. Better customer understanding
3. Better customer relationships
After all, a smart phone or mobile device sits in the pocket of pretty much every single one of your target customers.
Some interesting case studies demonstrated how apps can add a element of engagement and fun e.g. Barrett shoes asking for user’s dates of birth to identify their birth stone and therefore their likely personality traits and of course shoe preferences (the live demo worked!). Plus Kiddicare who has built in a multitude of capabilities into their app to allow customers to view video demos of products and even scan barcodes in competitors’ shops to get a price match – plus next day delivery and a 365 day return policy (a no-brainer?!):
“so our competitors become shop windows for our products”
Watch out bricks and mortar retailers!
In designing apps, advice was given to focus on your target market and ideally get them to help design it – otherwise you’ll risk ending up with a highly functional yet dull and unengaging app. And to:
“think multi-channel rather then just Internet in approaching and targeting your market”
Disruptive technologies such as mobile point of sale apps and hardware were highlighted (I was surprised that Dorsey’s Square was not mentioned?) plus user friendly technologies to help offsite / mobile workers transfer data for processing in realtime as opposed to dropping in and out of the office.
Mobiles or smart phones have become such an integral part of daily life that if you as a business owner do not have (or at least are not thinking about building) a channel into your existing or future customers’ mobile device, then you’re pretty much toast!
I liked the comment from Kiddicare:
“we’re a tech company that happens to sell childrens stuff”
Its like McDonalds founder, Ray Kroc‘s comment “we’re a real estate company that happens to sell hamburgers” updated for the 21st Century.
Approached from this perspective, it should help us all reimagine our business or even our entire industry.