Mobile Strategy: How to increase customer satisfaction with mobile

This is part 4 of a multi-part series. The first 3 can be found here (Why you NEED a mobile strategy), here (What is your “internal” mobile strategy?) and here (How to start building your customer-facing mobile strategy)

You all know it is far cheaper to keep existing customers than to find new ones and mobile can help do that quite effectively. We are all guilty of leaving a paying customer in the dark – it happens. We work hard to attract them to our company, harder to convince them to part with their money but once they do we often move on to the next potential customer. This is where mobile can help with customer attrition if done right.

Customer satisfaction is wide-ranging and not a one-size-fits-all offering. To do it right can be a complex and challenging initiative but, thankfully, there are a number of things that mobile can help with right away that aren’t complicated.

Forget search on your mobile anything

The LAST thing that someone on a mobile device is interested in doing once they go through the hassle of finding and getting to your website or downloading your app is to search again for what they are looking for. If a user requires a search bar on your mobile website you have failed at architecting a relevant experience. I don’t care if you are a newspaper, a product company or a weather app, search is lazy UI/UX and adds a gate between what you have and what your visitor is interested in finding. Take the time to put context into how and what you display on your mobile experience.

There are 2 reasons someone visits your website: (1) They are looking for something specific in context to their situation or (2) they are trying to reach you (by email, to subscribe, to buy). The goal is to convert them from (1) to (2). Period.

Goal-oriented mobile websites are RARE and this always shocks me. The goal is not to replicate your existing website that works on a 27 inch monitor – that won’t work on a 4 inch screen. The goal should be the core to why you are moving into mobile in the first place. What is your metric – the one you will be judged against to determine success? What is the desired outcome for someone who has visited your mobile website? Is it for them to email your company? Download a coupon? Purchase a product or service? Subscribe to your RSS feed? Whatever it is, don’t be shy, move the visitor along the continuum you decide – but at least know what that continuum is.

The simple fact is that a great mobile anything is about understanding who your customer is and what they would expect from you in this channel.

If your best experience needs location – ask them for theirs!

Have you ever needed to find a Starbucks or other place of business quickly, headed to their mobile website only to land on a completely non-contextualized useless sales page? Try our coffee or “daily specials” don’t help when they can’t find your place of business. If the experience is enhanced with location, ask for it. If someone has landed on your mobile website they are looking for something – so give it to them. Ask for their location, display your closest location, have a click-to-call option with a nice note that says “Meeting someone? Going to be late? Click here and we’ll tell them for you, just don’t speed.” Context is important so don’t over look it – it can enhance your brand with existing customers.

Just so we are clear on something, location is sacred and people won’t share it if they don’t trust your brand or understand why it benefits them. Asking for their location as soon as they land on your mobile website or in your app for the first time is a no-no. We call this a gate. The fewer the gates you put in place, the more chance you have in building on or creating a relationship with the user.

Case study: iTunes vs Spotify?

Mark Kasdorf, co-founder of Timbre, a location-based live music discovery app and guest on had the most enlightening example of the impact of a gate. His app counts a completed action (his metric BTW) as someone who finds a live act and gets to the event page and listens to a clip of the artist’s music (it auto plays on the event page). They had inadvertently put up a gate right before the event page which seemed logical but had devastating consequences on their success metric – they added a choice. The user had to chose if they wanted to hear the music clip fed from Spotify or iTunes. This stopped people cold – a full 60% of people in fact. Once this gate was removed (they decided on iTunes by default) their completion rate (the percentage of users that made it to listening to a track) rose to 90%. It seemed, in this instance, that users balked at choice so the fewer you offer to begin with, the better.

Let your users do what they need to – and then get out.

According to a study done by Flowtown, 55% of people interacting with a company’s mobile experience do it with customer service intent. Whether it is to find contact information, find a location, look at a menu or service offering, see available inventory or even hours of operation, often it is the simplest of things that we over look. These simple things that get overlooked aren’t earth-shattering or complicated, or even revolutionary. They don’t involve a new technology or specialized skills or years of expense or implementation. They do, however, require a moment of reflection and may mean you have to see your business through the eyes of your customers but that’s ok. You should do that regularly anyway.

Ask this simple question to get going: What are the essential answers that people need to know in order to respond to a customer service call? What could you outsource? Here are a few:

– Hours of operations
– location(s)
– menu items
– sales
– inventory request
– parking location
– types of payments accepted
– product prices

Context is king in relationship building

Mobile is a funny thing. It is portable and there is a ton of information at your disposal that can enhance your customer’s experience. A very simple example is helping them find your location: Make it a part of the landing page when they hit it from a smartphone. If they are searching for you there is a high likelihood that they need your location. Do it. While you are at it, include a phone number for the nearest location as well.

This isn’t difficult – it’s plain common sense really. Cover the low-hanging mobile fruit before tackling everything else – that stuff complicates things, this stuff makes you seem much more in tune with your customer. Be and do the latter.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of 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 get things rolling.

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