When we think of a mobile device, we might automatically think of a phone. But a mobile device is whichever device is at a customer’s fingertips: a media player, a television, a hotel kiosk, even a car radio. Some of these mobile devices have touch-screen interfaces, some respond to voice commands, but all provide the customer – and web provider – with access to information never before imagined.
The mobile device is now a direct connection to the customer that can engage them, not just provide information. That means your mobile content strategy must measure up to those evolving needs. Mobile devices have the capability to give the web provider information about where the customer is and even what that customer may be doing while accessing the web. The web provider can use this to serve its customers with more valuable information than they might get by visiting a website from an anonymous desktop.
Context is key. Where is the customer? What are they doing? What have they done recently? What might they do next? Context allows the web provider to create a dynamic workflow to provide relevant and timely information throughout a customer’s mobile experience.
A great example of this is an passenger on an airline. Let’s say a traveler logs into a site and the application determines that the customer is accessing the site from an airplane, in-flight (think in-flight WiFi). This is enough to know that this customer is going to be interested in connecting gate information, baggage claim, ground transportation, and accommodations at their destination. Or let’s say the traveler accessed the site from the departing airport the day of the flight. Based on the location (the airport), the time (less than 24 hours before the flight), and whether or not they have checked in (from the customer relationship management, or CRM, system), the application can provide the traveler with departing gate information, ticket counter locations, and any flight delays.
User activity triggers dynamic workflow through a mobile web page, SMS, or through an app running on the customer’s device, and can be managed via a CRM system or other workflow tool. Tying basic information to a CRM or similar system means a user’s experience can be managed over not just one but many sessions from many locations.
Knowing where the customer is provides valuable data about what they may be doing. Adding knowledge of what the customer has done or might soon be doing can create a more complete picture of what that customer may need. This is where workflow can become a powerful tool to both market services effectively and provide valuable customer service. Companies no longer have to wait for the customer to request information; now they can push timely and relevant information via SMS or a mobile application.
Most web information has historically been free of “state” or context. Now, with the mobile experience, we can attach workflow and context to the information a user needs and interact with them in more complete ways that were ever before possible.
What types of activities might your customers participate in online? Can you envision workflows that could be enhanced through online interaction? When a customer accesses your content online, how can context provide relevant information and support? Based on a customer’s location, what’s the most targeted marketing to enhance your customer’s experience? Answering these questions can bring you closer to knowing what your mobile strategy needs to be.