Skip to main content
Qualtrics Home page

See how XM for Customer Frontlines works

Watch On Demand Demo

The complete guide to mobile customer experience

9 min read
If your customer experience program does not have seamless mobile touchpoints you're behind the curve. Read on to learn how to create an exceptional mobile experience for your customers.

It won’t be news to many that mobile is now king. For more and more of the tasks we carry out every day from online shopping to booking a doctor’s appointment, we turn first to our mobile devices. In fact, you’re probably reading this on your phone.

For many, it’s their first interaction with a brand, from passively searching for where to go to dinner next week or browsing the latest styles at that fashion retailer their friend recommended right through to booking a table at said restaurant or ordering a new t-shirt for next day delivery.

So it follows that they’ll have just as high expectations on mobile as they do online or in person.

Meeting – or indeed exceeding – those expectations is a key part of the customer experience and needs to be given the same weight as you’d give to other interactions with your customers.

If you need any more convincing, here’s some of the latest trends in mobile:

  • 67% of the world’s population will own a smartphone by 2019- Statista
  • S. adults spend 5.9 hours per day online- Meeker Internet Trends
  • Global mobile and tablet internet usage exceeded desktop for the first time in 2016- GS Stats Counter
  • 56% of every in-store purchase is influenced by a digital device- Deloitte
  • 82% of consumers turn to mobile to help make a product decision- Google

Free eBook: The digital experience playbook

3 pillars of CX that come to life in mobile

A mobile-first mindset is about understanding and optimising the moments that matter, no matter when or where they might occur. In today’s age, this means user first. A powerful CX program will include a word class strategy coupled with a world-class digital customer experience software platform.

Be personal

Mobile is arguably the most personal of any channel. It never leaves your side, it’s your connection to friends and family and it’s predominantly used for social interactions. We’ve become accustomed to using our mobiles in a conversational, personalised way – and interactions with brands are no different.

Think of a typical brand interaction, with a set series of questions a user is forced to go through as part of a customer experience survey. It can feel robotic and even repetitive — the polar opposite of almost every other interaction we have with our phones. Imagine instead a more conversational interaction, where a consumer ‘chats’ naturally with a brand as is having a conversation with a friend. It feels natural on mobile and encourages the user to give their honest, open feedback – something which is gold dust when it comes to understanding the emotions and sentiments that drive their behaviour.

Be predictive

The ultimate goal of any modern CX program is to provide a crystal ball on customer behaviour and move away from just reacting to problems when they occur and towards predicting behaviour — for example, customer churn — and then stepping in at the right moment before it becomes a problem. To do that, you need a complete view of the customer across every channel — including mobile. Without it, your picture of the customer is incomplete.

Take retail as an example; we saw earlier how 56% of every purchase decision is influenced by mobile. Without mobile as a part of your customer experience program, you’re missing more than half of the decision-making process – now, would you be comfortable making critical business decisions with that level of certainty? Customer experience leaders bring together their experience and operational data across devices to understand the complete customer journey, allowing them to understand how they combine to create a customer experience and where improvements can be made to have the biggest impact.

Be embedded

We’ve covered how mobile is key in collecting data to understand the customer experience and how, when brought together with data from every touchpoint, paints a rich picture of customer behaviour and the sentiments and emotions that drive them. But what do you do with all that data?

Put simply, you embed it throughout the organisation so everybody knows exactly what they need to do to provide an amazing customer experience. That means integrating your customer intelligence in the systems and processes you’re already using, making it easy to respond to and close the loop with customers. It means giving everyone in the organisation access to the right data to make the decisions they need to improve the experience for the customer.

The right kind of customer data is incredibly powerful but unless you can put it in the hands of the people who can act on it, it’s almost meaningless.

Designing your feedback programs with a mobile-first mindset

Collecting feedback through mobile is critical – but just how do you do it t make sure you’re making the most of the platform? Here are our top tips for designing feedback mechanisms for mobile:

Start a conversation — mobiles are all about conversation, so design your feedback mechanisms to be more conversational and engage customers on their own terms. You can use advanced branching and artificial intelligence to respond contextually to what they’re telling you. So when they tell you for example that they were not impressed by the staff in your store, ask them a follow-up question about it, just like you would in natural conversation, rather than simply going to the next question in a pre-set routine of standard questions.

Use it when it’s appropriate — mobile is great, but it’s not always the best platform. So think carefully if you’re better off asking them to call to discuss an issue or get support. For example, they may have a complicated question that can’t be resolved in a simple FAQ or short answer from an agent — routing these through mobile is likely to lead to frustration and ultimately failure as they’re unable to complete their task. So think carefully about the user journey and use mobile only where it makes sense.

Designing your customer surveys for mobile

There are plenty of best practices when it comes to designing a customer survey and, when it comes to mobile, there’s plenty of additional considerations to take into account. There’s three main things to consider:

  • Effort on the small screen – scrolling and swiping all constitute effort on the part of your respondents, so just like you would look to reduce the amount of clicks on a desktop survey, make sure your survey is designed to be easy by choosing the right question types and using a responsive design so its customised for the small screen.
  • People are busy when on mobile – desktop is typically considered a focused medium – ie you’re at your computer, actively completing a task. Mobile however, tends to be passive – when using mobile we’re typically on the go, juggling numerous tasks at once and so to grab (and hold) someone’s attention, you need to make sure your survey is designed for people who aren’t dedicated only to that one task.
  •  Choosing your distribution channels – email is just one way to send out a survey. On mobile however there are so many other methods including SMS, QR Codes®, web beacons, in-app and many more. Choosing a distribution method that suits your users is essential – understand your customers and the channels they prefer and make sure you serve them any feedback requests through their preferred channels.
  • Use responsive design — with any feedback mechanism, reducing user effort is essential. On mobile that means using responsive design to ensure it’s easy to use, intuitive and simple to understand what’s expected of you. Lots of scrolling or moving about the page to answer complicated matrix questions will likely put users off, causing them to bounce and you to miss out on a key opportunity to hear their feedback.

When designing your survey questions, try to follow the following best practices too:

  • Avoid grids and matrix questions – they can cause problems in terms of data entry and processing after the fact
  • Verbally label all scale points and avoid numbers to make sure people know exactly what they’re answering
  • Avoid agreement scales (eg Yes/No or True/False)
  • Keep any numeric scales to just 5 points
  • Keep question text or open-ended questions simple. People don’t want to spend a lot of time typing on their phones
  • Keep it short and succinct. That will limit the cognitive load because cognitive resources are limited. Surveys should be no longer than 10 minutes.

Free eBook: The digital experience playbook