Is your UC strategy ready for mobile customers?

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Is your UC strategy ready for mobile customers?
This article first appeared on Best in UC. Should unified communications strategies extend to customers? Companies willing to understand and embrace their customers’ communications preferences look poised to reap the rewards. For example, an increasing number of consumers are ready, willing and able to make purchases via mobile devices. But only a handful of retail operations offer that option. A recent survey released by Empirix Inc., revealed that consumers fully expect to purchase goods and services regularly via mobile devices within the next 36 months. But these expectations are outstripping readiness on the part of businesses. The proliferation of mobile devices is driving consumers’ desire to shop via this new channel. Experts predict this will result in a dramatic increase in demand for mobile commerce (m-commerce) services and applications over the next few months, opening the door for companies in the B2B and B2C markets to capitalize on the opportunity. Consider these findings:
  • Ninety-one percent of respondents believe that m-commerce services will make their shopping experience more convenient.
  • Ninety percent of respondents believe the services will save them time in their shopping processes.
  • Sixty-eight percent of respondents thought new mobile services will have a positive impact on their service quality.
Despite strong consumer beliefs surrounding the potential of m-commerce, the survey also illustrates that organizations around the world are not yet ready to meet these increasing expectations. Only about 41 percent of U.S. companies have embraced QR codes, while 54 percent of U.S. companies have an overall mobile strategy in place. “As we see consumer demand and expectations increase for mobile capabilities, the pressure is really on businesses to start providing mobile shopping services sooner rather than later,” said Tim Moynihan, vice president of marketing, Empirix. “However, there are a number of potential issues organizations will need to overcome if they are to be successful, the primary challenge being network performance and quality assurance. As more businesses deliver m-commerce applications to an increasing number of consumers, the risk of poor service increases dramatically. Investing in an end-to-end service assurance program at the start of this journey will separate the winners from the losers.” Though companies are admittedly lagging when it comes to providing a mobile strategy for consumers, these businesses are equally as far behind in implementing an end-to-end service assurance strategy. In the United States, 85 percent of companies admitted having no plans to implement an end-to-end service assurance strategy in the next 12 months. “The mobile shopping revolution has arrived, but the gap that exists between consumer expectations and business plans will significantly impact customer satisfaction,” said Professor Morris Pentel, chairman of the Customer Experience Foundation. “This new channel offers a tremendous opportunity to generate significant revenue while improving customer experience. To be successful, companies need to be aware of the potential risks. Organizations must assure a great customer experience, as well as high-quality network and application performance. Additionally, companies must be ready to respond appropriately to consumer’s concerns regarding data usage, privacy and security.”

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