The steady rise of smartphone use marks a clear shift in the way people communicate these days—and how customers engage with businesses. Just this past week, Apple shattered its own records and posted the biggest profit in corporate history by selling 74 million iPhones in a single quarter. According to Smart Insights’ recent study of mobile marketing statistics reflecting the most popular devices used to search the Internet, 80% of Internet users own a smartphone.In addition, ever-changing technologies coupled with falling costs of these devices have contributed to rising demand from emerging countries. The GSMA—the organization which represents the interests of the world’s mobile operators—reports massive growth in smartphone use over the next six years with an estimated 6 billion in use by 2020.A rise in smartphone use therefore translates into a growing demand for customer service through integrated in mobile apps, creating opportunities for companies to optimize their mobile engagement strategies to drive sales. Customers nowadays are setting the trend of using their mobile devices to interact with companies for many different reasons. For example, many consumers will use different channels such as mobile web, apps, and instant messaging to research products, ask for technical support, and make purchases. As the statistics show, it’s often preferable for the consumer to access information on the go.So what does this mean for businesses? More than ever, it’s critical to provide a seamless experience across multiple channels—whether engaging a multichannel or omnichannel customer engagement strategy—with a particular emphasis on quality mobile experience. For example, if a “click to chat” button is available on a company’s website to provide technical support, the mobile app version of the company’s website should be optimized to allow for an equivalent, seamless experience. The customer should feel that, when using a mobile device, the experience is not diminished and may even be enhanced by simple, easy-to-use menus.To deliver optimum mobile customer engagement, businesses should therefore bear in mind a few key points. First, focus on finding customers. Using mobile advertising and messaging, for example, are excellent ways to acquire new customers. Second, enable e-commerce on mobile apps. Allowing customers to make purchases on the go is critical to increasing sales. Lastly, never forget the customer experience. Information should always be easy to locate, and customers must have multiple and efficient methods for contacting a company should they need assistance—by using chat, email, or SMS, for example. By catering to the needs of customers, brand loyalty increases and businesses are poised to capitalize on the rising trend of mobile customer engagement.
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