Using mobile technology to increase ROI
Ten billion. By 2021, there will be approximately 10.4 billion connected mobile devices in the world.
That’s easily more than enough for every man, woman, and child. It’s not surprising, considering that mobile has become the first place we look to for information; in 2015,
it overtook desktop as our most-used digital platform, and the time we spent watching videos on mobile devices outpaced the time we spent watching TV. In fact, almost 50 percent of those aged 18 to 34 watch videos only on mobile devices. Given that 80 percent of internet users own a smartphone, there’s even a good chance you’re reading this paper on a mobile device.
Entering a new world of engagement.
Just 15 years ago, the thought of us carrying the internet or a personal computer in our pocket was unfathomable. Today, we can browse the web, shop, take pictures, navigate, and make phone calls simply by swiping or touching our smartphone screen. We’re also able to accomplish specific tasks through the use of apps that are designed to cater for our immediate needs, whether it’s booking a ride-share, using a local food-delivery service, or instantly transferring money to a friend. This immediate engagement has created mobile moments: real-time, intent-driven interactions that require only a glance—yet deliver information we can consume and take action on straight away.
As mobile empowers us to search for and discover products on demand—from anywhere, at any time, for any reason—it also poses new challenges for businesses. As consumers, with the world’s information at our fingertips, we’ve become accustomed to shorter informational exchanges, but we still expect the maximum value from each product and business with which we interact. As business executives, managers, and directors, we must adjust the way we engage with our customers to accommodate this shift in consumer behavior.
Why? In a world where mobile technology is accessible to all, our competitors are just a click or screen tap away our customers have many choices, and we must compete for the mobile moments that will attract and keep them engaged. Whereas Likes and Follows used to be adequate measures of customer interaction, quantifiable omnichannel experiences are now necessary in the battle for customer attention, and incremental ROI generated through those experiences is more difficult to gain and more important than ever.
It would be easy to pass off ROI as a measurement within someone else’s remit. But as the fight for share of mind and share of wallet increases, it becomes everyone’s responsibility—including yours. The question is: How do you make your mobile moments relevant enough so that they win both mind and wallet, and how can you understand the interactions surrounding these moments to generate a positive ROI?
Mastering the Customer Experience
Each department within every organization has its challenges. Perhaps your marketing team doesn’t hold true ownership of the customer experience, and there are too many levels
of approval in place. Maybe your customer-service team only uses email instead of a messaging platform, and can’t reply to requests as efficiently as expected. It might be that your salespeople spend the majority of their time responding to questions that are simple enough that they could be answered either by self-service or an automated-response system.
Whatever the reason, barriers not only frustrate your workforce, but also hinder your ability to react to user behavior in real time. In an era of mobile ubiquity, that just won’t do! Immediacy is critical, and in a world where millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, four in seven of the world’s population prefer using messaging apps such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and WeChat, to email.
It’s no wonder, then, that 65 percent of consumers would rather use a messaging platform when reaching out to customer support, when confirming an appointment, or when getting product or service information.
Additionally, surveys reveal that over 50 percent of consumers would consider making a purchase on a messaging platform. With these increased preferences towards mobile messaging, businesses need to use mobile moments to transform messaging apps from a simple communication channel into multi-channel engagement platforms. This transformation could fundamentally alter how customers behave when consuming information.
A great way to give your customers a satisfyingly real-time and relevant experience is to move the zero-moment of truth (which is defined as the exact moment a customer has a need, intent, or question that needs to be answered) from a search setting to a conversational one. You can move this moment by automating a customer’s first interaction and proactively engaging them with an innovative, intelligent, self-service tool that offers faster and more complete engagement than a human sales or service rep could. Welcome to the world of the chatbot: the intelligent, digital, and virtual assistant.
Imagine having an airline chatbot, for example, that could search every available flight on your preferred airline (proactively taking into account your preferred departure times, seat preferences, connection requests, in-flight entertainment options, and—of course—ticket price). It could then help you book your ticket, automatically check you in, and send you your boarding pass on your way to the airport, eliminating many of the self-service steps that we go through today. Imagine a sales-advisor chatbot that could recommend products based on your tastes and responses to a few quick questions.
Now imagine chatbots designed especially for your employees: a CRM chatbot that can tell your salespeople which leads to focus on based on a customer’s propensity to purchase similar products, or an HR chatbot that lets you request travel approvals, create time cards, book travel, order supplies, and schedule reminders.
There are now solutions that can help build intelligent chatbots that leverage commonly used messaging platforms to interact with customers, partners, and employees. These chatbots can be designed to target and engage with users based on their geography and other factors, in real time; offer push notifications based on preset parameters; use in-app messaging and SMS to engage customers based on segment analysis; and improve your workforce’s job satisfaction by freeing them to focus on strategy and problem-solving rather than the execution of mundane activities.
What’s more, developing these chatbots is getting easier through the use of modern-day technology platforms. There are even ways to create chatbots like this without using code!
When you move the zero moment of truth onto a messaging platform, customers can engage without ever having to leave the conversation to look something up.
Continued engagement can lead to higher retention, and higher retention can lead to improved ROI.
To succeed in mobile—and in this era of ever-increasing expectations—you’ll need to personalize and tailor your communications. At scale, that can prove difficult. In fact, companies spend a shocking US$958 million a year in inefficient or ineffective content marketing.
Currently available analytics tools are becoming more and more sophisticated. These tools offer capabilities for segmentation and targeting based on user behavior,
from session time to location. Using the right mobile analytics solution allows you to gain valuable insight that can help you to understand, at scale, the ambiguity surrounding your customers so that you can deliver relevant, timely, and personalized messaging to them, which can increase meaningful engagement, and ultimately, positive ROI.
Chatbots can also lend a virtual helping hand here—by learning from customer interactions and offering automated, personalized recommendations.
Predicting Customer Behavior
Acquiring and engaging customers is undoubtedly a valuable process, and one that deserves due investment. Still, with disparate data from multiple sources and confusing attribution models, it can be difficult to see what’s happening across all of your channels and across the entire customer journey in order to quantify ROI and plan for growth. In fact, only 36 percent of marketers use quantitative approaches to prove the value of their work, and just 32 percent use available marketing-analytics packages to make decisions.
In order to take control of tomorrow, you must understand today. Start by analyzing and segmenting your customer information with tools that measure digital traction (active usage × engagement × personalization at scale) so that you can monetize the customers you’ve already attracted and retained.
These tools provide visibility into your current metrics and performance, proving ROI through user and session reports, cohort and retention analysis, funnel analysis, user path and flow analysis, and more.
Once you’ve gained customer-engagement insights from these tools, you can use the conclusions not only to optimize your campaigns, but also to predict how people will interact with your products and services. Some analytics tools now use embedded algorithms that are sophisticated enough to produce predictive churn metrics. By allowing these tools to understand which customers are most likely to leave you based on a variety of complex indicators, you’ll be able to target at-risk customers with personalized offers before they abandon your company.
Many tools also offer cross-channel visibility and cross-platform integration, including with services like chatbots, to give a holistic view of your customer activity.
Soon, even chatbot platforms will use these predictive algorithms to engage you (with your consent), before you ask a question or consider abandoning a product. Take, for example, a financial services company chatbot that could proactively suggest, based on your spending patterns, switching to a different banking or credit-card account in order to increase your annual rate of return or save you money. If this mobile moment were predicted and initiated before you even considered switching financial providers, wouldn’t you be less likely to leave, and think more highly of your current financial institution for saving you money?
Using Technology as a Strategic Differentiator
All of the above is great news for your business, but you may ask: “Is more technology really required—and how can I use it to better engage with my customers, prospects, and employees?” If your current solutions seem complex, the idea of adding more technology may seem absurd—but in fact, the right tech tools can make your organization easier to run and are worth the investment.
Today, every business has multiple technology solutions. The organizations that succeed are those that are able to leverage the technology easily to achieve the results they want. This is usually accomplished in one of two ways: either by having a talented engineering team that can support each line of business at every turn, or by using powerful (yet easy-to-use) technology that can give companies an advantage over their competition.
Cloud-based, integrated, ultraintuitive, modern digital-engagement solutions are one such type of technology. These solutions can help you to create, test, and deploy chatbots by dragging and dropping custom components, and by adding virtual assistants to messaging platforms to take advantage of customer-channel preferences. They can help you build codeless apps and microsites in minutes using nothing but your browser, reducing your reliance on IT. They can also help you to understand why customers have gone quiet so that you can effectively target and engage them in an effort to increase your company’s ROI.
What’s more, these solutions can leverage and integrate with your current infrastructure to bridge gaps in functionality and connect your back-end systems, ultimately unifying your data, your messaging, and delivering that omnichannel customer experience you desire.
To Sum Up…
There are so many reasons you need to make sure digital engagement is not just on your business’s radar, but at the center of everything you do:
- Real-time engagement is critical, and competition for share of mind and wallet has never been higher. Neither have customer expectations.
- ROI is your responsibility. And you can only achieve it by delivering memorable mobile moments.
- Fragmentation can slow you down. Piecemeal and in-house solutions might have gaps, may measure metrics differently, and can fail to fully engage customers. The result? Blind spots in segmentation and communication, and inaccuracies in data.
So how can you choose the best tool for your business? Start by seeking one that:
- Allows you to instantly engage with customers in a way that’s relevant to them, their devices, and their chosen channels
- Is automated or semiautomated, providing an easy-to-use yet powerful 360-degree view of customer behavior
- Can simplify coordination and collaboration between internal and external teams
- Will decrease time to market—whether you’re working on an app, an email, or an entire ad campaign
- Delivers complete integration and unity
The right technology investments can help you meet these needs. They should be:
Oracle Mobile Cloud
Did you know that you can now build mobile apps in minutes—whether you know how to code or not? You can do it using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service: the cloud-based tool that makes development easy by dealing with the complex server-side programming, reducing the redundancy in creating back-end code blocks and providing ready-to-integrate features. Plus, you can use it to target and engage with mobile customers based on factors such as their geography—offering relevant content, information, and products to them in real time.
In addition, the platform’s innovative chatbots tool will enable you to build and deploy chatbots in media where your customers can have contextual conversations with these intelligent virtual assistants!
There’s also a new way to gather relevant customer data in Oracle Mobile Cloud and turn it into actionable insights: It’s called Oracle Customer Experience Analytics. This can help you get the digital traction you need to engage consumers effectively, and acquire, retain, and monetize customers. By measuring and understanding mobile user activity, Oracle Customer Experience Analytics allows you to communicate with users based on who they are, what they’re doing, and where they’re located. How? By tracking events across every channel, from mobile and web apps to chatbot conversations.
Oracle Content and Experience Cloud
Oracle Content and Experience Cloud is a cloud-based content hub that drives omnichannel content management and accelerates experience delivery to keep pace with the immediate demands of today’s mobile users.
Powerful collaboration and workflow-management capabilities streamline the creation and delivery of content, and improve both customer and employee engagement.
With Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, you can rapidly collaborate on mobile devices, drive content approvals, and generate personalized, context-driven experiences that will engage users. Built-in, business-friendly tools make creating new mobile web experiences with stunning content a breeze—and for developers, content APIs and SDKs are available to enable consistent experiences across all mobile channels.
To learn more about Oracle Cloud Platform, which is driving next-generation mobile experiences, start with a free trial of Oracle Mobile Cloud or Oracle Content and Experience Cloud.
Go to cloud.oracle.com/tryit to try Oracle Cloud Platform and start for free.