For brands and organizations seeking to establish a better connection with consumers and their customers, mobile isn’t just another communication channel; it’s now a global lifestyle. According to a recent Nokia study, most mobile users can’t leave their phone alone for more than six minutes and check their smartphones up to 150 times a day. So if consumers are on this channel communicating, shopping and searching, brands must not just deliver when it comes to mobile marketing and sales, but they must also be there for mobile support and service.

Constellation Research Principal Analyst, Founder and Chairman “Ray” Wang in a recent blog post, notes “Mobility provides a competitive advantage to organizations that have incorporated and embedded it into business processes. More than just another channel, mobility has earned its place as a mindset for not only the consumer world, but also the enterprise.”

Brian Solis of the Altimeter Group echos the impact of the digital consumer, naming a new generation of customers that are not bound together by age, but rather by their connectivity – “Generation C.”

Mobile Matters

Is mobile customer engagement a must-do action item for 2014? Consider these 10 key mobile consumer statistics:

  • By the end of 2013 there will be more mobile devices on the planet than people. (Cisco)
  • By 2015, there will be more people accessing the web using a mobile device than a wireless computer. (IDC Worldwide New Media Market Model Forecast)
  • Worldwide business-to-consumer (B2C) m-commerce spending will grow six fold between 2011 and 2016, reaching $223 billion by the end of 2016. (IDC Worldwide New Media Market Model Forecast)
  • Companies will spend about 900 million on mobile processes reinvention services in 2013, a number that will more than triple in 2014, and continue to rise in 2015. (Forrester)
  • 72% of consumers have a more positive view of a company if it provides a mobile customer service app. (Nuance)
  • After going through a good customer service experience with a company’s mobile app, 81% of customers will use social media and word of mouth to tell others about their positive experience (Nuance).
  • The number of mobile social network users in the U.S. will grow from 58.5% in 2012 to 79.1% by 2015. (eMarketer)
  • Over the past two years, the number of Google searches on mobile has increased by 500%. (Google Our Mobile Planet Smartphone Research)
  • 96% have researched a product or service on their phone. (Google Our Mobile Planet Smartphone Research)
  • 45% of companies offering web or mobile self-service reported an increase in site traffic and reduced phone inquiries. (CRM Magazine)

Getting in Touch with the Mobile Consumer

In a newly-published Gartner report, The Four Attributes of Customer Engagement (October 1, 2013), analysts Jim Davies, Michael Maoz and Patrick Stakenas note that over the last decade, a lack of trust in big business has caused customers to be more willing to complain, switch brands and tell others after a poor customer experience, so increasing active customer engagement through mobile, social and traditional channel alignment is key in delivering better, more consistent knowledge, service and engagement to create customer satisfaction and loyalty.

But are big brands prepared to do this? According to a recent ICMI (International Customer Management Institute) study of contact center professionals, more than half of all respondents (55%) said that their mobile customers expect the same level of service from mobile as from other channels, yet only 25% of companies currently have a mobile customer service strategy in place, with 33% in the planning stages.

In 2014, it’s time to make the call and invest in mobile.

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