How Has Mobile Changed the Customer Engagement Game?

/ 11 March 2021

Customer engagement is a vital consideration for any company. It refers to how invested customers are in your organization, which can impact repeat purchases, brand advocacy and social sharing. 

While the actual concept of customer engagement is nothing new, the advent of mobile technology has been a complete game-changer. 

Read on to explore the affect of mobile on customer engagement and the importance of mobile customer engagement going forwards.

The Rise of Mobile Engagement

When Motorola released the first mass-produced handheld phones back in the 1970s, nobody could have expected how handheld devices would change the way we live our lives. Fast-forward to the mid-2000s and phones could access the internet, which eventually led to larger screens, more diverse functionality, and a growing number of apps.

Since Apple said ‘there’s an app for that’ in 2009, we’ve seen new applications for pretty much every function, from business tasks and music apps, to games and social media. Put simply, users will grab their phone for pretty much any requirement nowadays.

That’s paired with a distinct rise in how engaged we are with the devices themselves. In 2021, it’s estimated that there are 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide. According to Rescue Time, those users spend an average of 3 hours 15 minutes each day on their phones, with the top 20% of users spending more than 4.5 hours a day on their phones.

To put that in context, the average user will total 23 hours a week on their phone – more than half of the 42.5 hours we typically spend making a living.

Mobile Customer Engagement

With so much time and attention given to mobile devices, it’s only natural organizations need to embrace the technology at customers’ fingertips to better engage with them. Over the years, we’ve seen this manifest in a number of different ways…

  1. Mobile Friendly Websites

The bear minimum when it comes to mobile customer engagement is a responsive website. With mobile devices now accounting for around 50% of overall web traffic, companies need their sites to be completely mobile-friendly simply to start the engagement process.

Clicking on a site that isn’t optimised for mobile will result in a slow experience, a poor design, and even worse functionality. In 2021, this will stand out so much that users will simply navigate away and head straight to a competitor. In other words, there will be no engagement with your brand whatsoever.

  1. Mobile Apps

A mobile-friendly website provides a better user-experience when customers choose to search for and interact with your brand. Mobile apps go one further by taking their place permanently (unless uninstalled) on your customers’ device. That effectively puts your brand onto the device that’s being carried around with customers (and used for 3+ hours) every day.

With this comes a range of benefits. For one, customers have a permanent reminder of your brand on their home screen or app menu, making them more likely to continually interact with your company – whether that’s reading the latest updates, browsing products, or making a purchase.

Companies can use push notifications to directly update customers about new products, sales events, or exclusive discounts for app users. There’s also the possibility of obtaining earned data, where customers happily provide their information as part of an app-based value exchange. 

  1. Social Media Presence

Social media sites account for the majority of the most popular apps based on the number of downloads. Whether it’s TikTok, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, the vast majority of consumers are active with one or several social media accounts.

As you’d expect, we’re seeing more users opting for the mobile app compared to the desktop versions of these sites. So much so, that apps like Instagram and TikTok are very much mobile-centric, while Snapchat has no desktop availability at all.

With all of this in mind, a good social media presence can work wonders for customer engagement. Companies can build up a following of loyal, engaged customers, create high-quality content that appeals to their followers, and also interact with them directly. 

  1. Mobile Customer Service

Of course, social media is just one of the ways in which companies can interact with their customers on their mobile devices. This highlights another impact of mobile technology on customer engagement. Long gone are the days where customers would have to phone, email, or even write a letter.

Nowadays, it’s expected that companies will offer some form of online communication through mobile devices. 52% of consumers are likely to remain loyal to companies offering live chat support. Additionally, 41% of consumers opt for live chat as their favourite means of support – compared to 32% for telephone and 23% for email.

This is another area where mobile apps can assist. With in-built live chat functionality, customers don’t have to go searching online for your web chat or contact details. They’ll simply click on your app and chat away, making it easier to connect with your brand for better long-term engagement.

The Verdict on Mobile Customer Engagement

With customers spending so much time on their phones, and using them for so many different functions, mobile has become a must when it comes to customer engagement. Thankfully, there are a range of ways to achieve this, as explored above.

Mobile apps, in particular, are arguably the best way to engage with customers in 2021 and the years to come. At 3radical, we know this all too well. Our innovative audience engagement software allows organizations to create bespoke mobile experiences that connect them to customers with engaging two-way interactions.

Our customer engagement solutions put the power of mobile technology on your side – and put your brand onto your customers’ mobile devices – increasing loyalty, repeat purchases and brand advocacy. Ready to find out more? Contact us today to discuss how mobile customer engagement can help your business.

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