Mobile chat takes on Murphy (and his infamous law).

June 22nd, 2011 by

A friend of mine once said, just before I got married, “Look, if anything can go wrong on your wedding day, it will.” This familiar Murphy’s Law idiom can easily be applied to any LIVE technical demonstration, where the odds of something going wrong are directly proportional to the number of people watching.

A couple of weeks ago, our partner, LivePerson, invited me to present with them at Internet Week in New York. Given the short time frame for setup prior to our session, “Mobile? We Have an App for That!”, my co-presenters and I had heck of a time getting our mobile-optimized chat to work on several devices. This was partially due to the number of devices on which we intended to demo the chat, but also because of the surprising lack of WiFi Internet bandwidth at a conference focusing on just that, the Internet.

As we were called on stage to present our case, we looked at each other realizing that we’d just have to wing it. Thankfully, being veterans of the Wild West Frontier of Mobile, we’re all fairly comfortable improvising.

The idea was to demonstrate to the audience the importance of communicating to your consumers while they are on the go in order to influence their immediate buying behavior, as well as increase customer retention by being readily available to handily address any issues… all via a mobile-optimized chat.

As the presentation kicked off, I decided to rely on my wireless network (AT&T) to launch and engage in an optimized chat via mobile web (one of our many mobile web solutions) for the demo, fully expecting the worst. Anyone who’s been to mobile conferences knows they are guaranteed to have little to no wireless bandwidth (especially if you’re on an iPhone) because everyone there, including myself, is hammering the cell towers with requests, slowing the network to a dead stop. Much to my surprise, the demo worked flawlessly. Not only did it validate our and our partner’s technology, more importantly, it also validated the use case of the consumer on the go, who’s accessing the mobile web to garner more information.

In this particular case, the consumer on the go was actually the presenter on the go, who did not have access to WiFi, only to the wireless network. Now, as much I would like to credit myself and the stellar team from LivePerson, I do believe we must also credit the cellular network providers who, for the most part, provide the infrastructure for us to communicate via mobile, whether it is using a mobile website or app, mobile chat, SMS, MMS or even just a phone call. And in the end, this is what it is all about, accessing information on the go, and hopefully having the best possible optimized experience in doing so…

So take that, Murphy!

Internet Week Jason

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