Tricky customer? Building trust in the mobile marketplace

Whether browsing through Amazon on a tablet or flicking through the latest offers on our mobile phones, we’ve grown accustomed to the digital shopping experience. However, it’s one thing to do your weekly shop from an iPad, and quite another to book a holiday abroad.

For businesses, mobile devices certainly present a far more accessible means for consumers to research their next purchase and reach out with any queries, but unfortunately the vast majority simply aren’t about to carry out large transactions on the same device.

According to BoldChat’s latest Effective Mobile Engagement Survey, there is a growing gap between the number of people using mobile devices to research and query products, and the amount of money they are spending. Last year, only 1 in 10 people spent more than £1,000 via their phone or tablet. For smartphones, this falls to as few as 5 per cent.

So what is stopping them from committing to these large purchases? Recent iOS and Android security breaches, such as the XcodeGhost and ‘long password’ vulnerabilities, certainly haven’t helped businesses build trust among consumers.

Ongoing challenges in creating a consistent customer experience can also form a roadblock to sales. When someone makes first contact with customer services through a call or email, a lot of time can be spent getting to the precise need of the individual which may involve passing them to other members of the team.

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. The survey also confirms that developments in customer engagement have the potential to significantly improve online sales. In total, a quarter of all online transactions for the same period happened after the customer was engaged by the seller on their mobile phone. Whether via email response, live chat or the traditional phone call, this shows a significant appetite for consumers initiating the buying chain from their phone.

Harnessing this appetite means creating a seamless experience for customers from browsing to purchase. Much like in a high street store, there are ways of approaching and guiding the potential buyer.

Online means international

Unlike a physical store built to service a particular area, the website is a universal point of contact for prospective buyers. Every consumer, regardless of locale, expects retailers to deliver the same quality of service as their own high street outlet. Starting the conversation in the right language is an essential part of this.

Hiring multilingual candidates is a simple way to ensure effective communication across all UK nationalities, but there are also sophisticated and automated translation platforms which can be pre-programmed to identify and translate branded terms, industry vocabulary, slang, typos and shortcuts common in mobile device interactions, resulting in a higher quality conversation.

Spotting the opportunity to engage

It’s now time to think about the point at which engagement would be most rewarding. The days of crude chat implementations should be far behind us. Thanks to advanced analytics, chat invitations can now be prompted by predictive models, which input customer journey information and optimise trigger conditions for the best outcomes.

By using data about the common tasks performed by web and app visitors, customer journey maps can be drawn together. Combined with relevant available information, as well as the communication channels and touchpoints requested, these offer large amounts of insight into the optimal time and manner to interact.

One size never fits all

Learning about the customer before building a personalised, relevant engagement is a crucial step in establishing comfort and confidence with the mobile platform.

Deepening customer relationships during the purchase process relies on keeping them happy at definitive moments such as sizing and choosing a payment plan. This will often mean communicating on a more human level, being personable and being able to give support when required.

Anything you can do to give the customer the confidence to make an informed decision from an optimised application or browser will only improve the completed purchases rate.

Ross Haskell, Senior Director at BoldChat by LogMeIn

Image Credit: Shutterstock/djile