Consumers' use of mobile devices continues to surge. Year-over-year global mobile data traffic is expected to rise 59 percent in 2015, according to Gartner. But even as consumers become increasingly reliant upon their mobile devices to communicate and interact with businesses, this doesn't necessarily translate into a satisfactory mobile experience. Just 45 percent of consumers are satisfied with retail mobile applications while just 47 percent say they're satisfied with retail websites, according to a 2015 study by Adobe. Meanwhile, mobile customer experience challenges aren't restricted to retail. According to The 2015 TeleTech Mobile Customer Study of 400+ U.S. adults, just 32 percent of bank customers rate their mobile experiences as "good" or "awesome" while satisfactions rates are even lower for health insurance and cable service customers. In a recent conversation I had with Noah Jessop, head of data at Liquid, an ad solutions platform for digital media, Jessop raised an interesting question about the mobile customer experience delivered by companies: "Ask yourself in 2016: Does our app (or mobile experience) really provide something that consumers need and want? Or is it driven by our own aspirations to have a mobile and digital storefront?"
Ultimately, the goal for marketers and other decision-makers shouldn't be the number of mobile app downloads the brand has generated but whether a mobile app or a mobile website is simplifying and improving the customer experience.
Understanding what customers want most from a mobile app or a mobile website and then acting on these preferences should be what's driving a company's mobile customer experience strategy. For instance, in the TeleTech study, consumers cited the ability to evaluate and compare pricing and the ability to make deposits as the top mobile features they sought from retailers and banks, respectively.
The small screen experience already contains some fundamental challenges. For retailers and companies in other industries that are looking to boost mobile traffic, begin improving the mobile customer experience by taking the customer's point of view.