A quick and dirty mobile strategy thanks to Hearst

By on January 30, 2013
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Here’s a quick mobile strategy for companies everywhere – release your stuff on mobile first.

Have you every been standing in line somewhere and the person behind the counter is answering questions from a customer on the phone? This drives me up the wall and is such a clear sign of mixed priorities and bad customer service. This kind of treatment is happening all over the mobile world today.

First of all, why does this bug me so much? Surely the employee that answered the phone is helping someone gain clarification on something right? Reframe it this way: Would you start a face-to-face conversation with someone and then jump on the phone right in front of that person without warning – and then continue talking on the phone while that person sat in front of you? So why should it be ok in a service-based industry to ignore the customers in front of you while you satisfy an interruption by someone who is not ready, at that moment, to buy something from you like the people standing in line?

Welcome to bad service and the mobile industry.

Why do you download apps onto your phone? We are motivated by only a couple of reasons and they all revolve around our wants. We want coupons, we want to check in, we want to take a picture and share it, we want to stay connected to friends, family and co-workers. We want. We want. We want. And the sooner brands understand that, the better.

If you think of it this way, every time a branded app is launched on a phone it is like walking into a place of business. It is the equivalent to standing in the line but this time you have a loyalty card, you are in the gold line and still someone is talking on the phone, treating you like a normal person.

There is no reason to launch an app any more…unless…

Hearst, the publisher of Popular Mechanics, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire among many others, gets it. With their print business under assault they are now offering advance copies of all of their magazines to subscribers through Apple’s Newsstand app for iOS. If you subscribe to these magazines, these companies have now given you a reason to jump on your mobile device and interact with their product – they are servicing you, the very important mobile customer, first.

This isn’t hard to understand. Reward customers as the loyal and vital few. Offer them a reason to want to interact with you. Take a page out of Hearst’s magazine and see what you can offer up as a uniquely mobile experience to existing customers or users.

It is the great companies that get mobile who will let the phones ring through the night – they won’t answer them while you are in line.

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About Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to schedule a 30-minute chat.
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