5 Prerequisites For Successful Customer Engagement

November 30th, 2011 by

The day has finally come. The relationship between the two of you has seen its up and downs, but you both are ready for the next step. The pit in your stomach is only outweighed by your intense need for one another. You toss all doubts and the butterflies aside, slowly bend down and rest your knee to the floor and fumble around in your pocket for that expensive little detail. There’s nothing more left than to pull out your mobile phone, take a breath and lay it all on the line—“will you buy my product?”

Granted this may be just a slight stretch from reality, but mobile user engagement should be treated with just as much due diligence as popping The Question. Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned mobile pro, these 5 questions should guide you through the many pitfalls of the constantly evolving mobile landscape and help you design the user experience that delivers pure bliss.

1. What devices are my customers using?

In today’s world, the majority of Americans ages 18-45 have a smartphone — so chances are your mobile site will get most of its traffic from a high end device with a touch screen and a powerful browser. But that doesn’t mean that they are the same… If you’ve been following our blog, you know hat it is fairly easy to figure out which specific mobile devices are accessing your site to help you focus your efforts and drive  maximum ROI. See a lot of iOS devices? You know you can’t use flash. See a lot of Android devices? You know different OS versions will have different browsers. See a lot of Blackberries, Windows or Symbian device? You’ve got even more nuances to account for. Knowing what devices your customers use is the absolute key to begin understanding your customer.

2. What are my mobile visitors looking for?

Mobile web users expect mobile content to appear in a mobile optimized manner, rather than a replication of how it is presented on their desktops or laptops. That applies not only to the visual representation of your mobile site, but  to the content, as well. To help separate must-haves from nice-to-haves, think about about 3-4 common mobile use cases for your content or product. That means answering the when and how questions — when or in what context would your customer be accessing your mobile site; and how or for what purpose might they be using it. Makes sense right? Once you’ve determined the needs of your on-the-go customers, make that content easily accessible — ideally, within 1-2 taps of their thumbs.

3. What do I want my mobile visitors to do?

As important as it is to optimize for what your users want, it is also important to optimize for what YOU want the users to do. For example, m-commerce sites want to generate sales, so they should provide sufficient product details (images, description, reviews) to simplify the purchase decision making and offer a simple and secure checkout. Local search services should certainly have addresses, mapping and click-to-call options. Branding campaign sites should facilitate an engaging branding experience. In essence, think of the path you want your mobile users to take to get to your (and hopefully, their) desired destination, and design your mobile experience around that. Remember — in mobile, like in many other fields, less is more.

4. Is my site social and shareable?

In a prior blog, we discussed how inherently social our mobile devices have become. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are accessed more and more frequently via mobile devices. In fact,  52% of mobile users access social media sites practically on a daily basis. With more than 60% of Fortune 500 companies using social media, there is no doubt that adding it to your mix can lead to material success. Adding sharing functionality, reviews and twitter feeds to your mobile site can take your numbers on an exponential path to victory.

5. How are visitors getting to my site?

Understanding how visitors are happening upon your mobile site is important to determine what to show them first. Similar to determining what they are looking for, you will need to optimize for different methods of access. For example, if you are using a QR code to activate a specific ad, chances are the visitor is interested in product information. So don’t lead them to your home page and make them search for it. Point your QR code (or SMS or email) to a specific campaign-oriented mobile page and give the user the option to go “home” if they’d like. Similarly, leveraging SEO best practices should direct mobile users to the relevant results page within your site and not to the generic homepage.

Just like most best practices, these 5 questions offer a common sense approach to building a rewarding mobile experience. After they’ve been seriously thought through, you should be well on your way to creating a mobile experience that maximizes user engagement and leads down the road to pure wedded… er… mobile bliss.
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