How much time did you spend on your mobile today? Are you reading this article on it right now? When you misplace it or forget it at home, be honest: Do you feel naked without your phone?
Smartphone users love their phones. I know I do (my answers are 2.5 hours; no, but if it weren’t mine I would be; and yes.) Over two billion people use them two hours a day. With this much time spent fiddling with the phone, the chances are that many of your customers’ ONLY Customer Experience is a mobile user experience (UX). Far too many organizations are not optimizing this experience the way they should.
Consider your answers to the following questions:
Can you remember a time when a mobile functionality took ten times longer to undertake on your mobile than it would on your desktop? How did you feel at that moment?
Have the graphics (or worse yet, some ads) ever taken forever to load, leading you to bail on the site?
Do you remember realizing far too late that you just performed private business on a public Wi-Fi?
When you reflect on your answers so far and the mobile site where they occurred, do you have positive or negative feelings about that related brand?
Chances are, your customer would feel the same way. If the mobile site where some or all of these instances occurred was yours, the negative feelings would be about your brand.
Obviously, smartphones have been around for a while, almost ten years. The market penetration is staggering. Smartphone access has gone from a nice thing to have to a necessity in many cases. When it comes to mobile experience, there are three trends of which every organization should be aware.
Trend #1: Efficiency
If there is one thing every smartphone user wants, it’s the ability to get things done on the go. We want the ability to do what we want whenever we want wherever we are. Skip Allums, the UX design lead at Monitise plc, a mobile payment design company based in London encourages us not to “get in the way of or slow down the user for completing what it is they set out to do.” When your site is simply a replication of your desktop experience just on a smaller screen, it means your users have to zoom in and manipulate the site to get what they need. It might also mean that it doesn’t present as quickly as it should because of graphic requirements. To be efficient, you have to design the site to reflect the best of mobile not only in appearance but usability. In other words, you need to do more that make a smaller version of what you have on your desktop site.
Trend #2: Accessibility
Communication is essential in any customer interaction, even a mobile experience. So using technical jargon in your mobile experience can be an obstacle for a large segment of your customer population. Users instead prefer simple language in their interactions. Understanding what to do and feeling confident one is not screwing anything up is a huge help to reducing customer stress and frustration, two feelings that are not great for a Customer Experience.
Trend #3: Security
Just like with your other channels, the mobile UX needs to make your customers feel certain ways and to feel secure is the most crucial one. If your site feels unsafe, then it will reflect poorly on your brand. People need to feel like their information is secure. They need to know that their identity will not be compromised (and destroyed) as a result of using your site. “When in doubt, encrypt” should be your mantra. Moreover, protect users from themselves; log them out after a period of inactivity; deny attempts to make “password” part of the sign on—and “0000” can’t be the PIN either! Perhaps most importantly, you have to ensure that your mobile experience is one that builds trust with your customers. If it looks or acts weird, they will lose confidence in it, fail to trust it, and not use it at all.
One thing that never goes out of style is a great Customer Experience. The fact is that these trends in mobile UX are common sense. If you visit many organization’s mobile sites, however, it’s clear that these trends are far from common. Making a great impression with your customers is important in the mobile UX. After all, it might be the only impression your customers have.
What impression is your mobile UX making on your customers?
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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of six best-selling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter and Periscope @ColinShaw_CX