Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report has shed light on the rapid uptake of connective technology amongst consumers, which has profound implications on the way organisations manage customer engagement. This rate of change in consumer habits, with 78% of the population now possessing a smartphone, renders prescriptive communication strategies and technologies untenable, and brings opportunities to those organisations looking towards fluid, evergreen solutions.
Mobile Device Use is on the Increase
Since the launch of the ground-breaking iPhone in 2007, mobile access has transitioned towards mobile dependency, with 60% of individuals claiming that they can no longer survive without a mobile phone.
This increase is caused by two main factors:
- The rise of social media
- Improved access to the internet via mobile devices
With the average consumer now spending an entire day online each week, consumers are constantly connected, and businesses that do not seize this opportunity by making themselves available 24/7, from any device, will rapidly lose out.
From mobile-friendly websites, to automated SMS information services, those organisations that optimise their content and service offerings for smartphones are able to deliver more effective customer engagement. Implementing an effective omni-channel strategy enables organisations to interact with consumers on a more personal basis, whether they are at work or at home. In 2011, advertisers spent just 2% of their budgets on mobile publicity – today, this has leapt dramatically to 45%; a resounding endorsement of the power of smartphones.
Demographics are Shifting
Traditionally, marketers and customer engagement managers have segmented audiences according to age, altering their strategy to reflect assumed generational differences. However, with fixed definitions, and separate approaches to communications, this segmentation ties strategists down to certain trends at certain times.
Ofcom’s report shows that although younger generations are still considered to be the most prolific internet users, the proportion of over-65s citing the internet as ‘essential’ has risen from 22% in 2012 to 36% today. For organisations, this means that the elderly can no longer be segmented as they were previously, and strategies must be adapted accordingly. Adopting a fluid approach to customer engagement will maintain an evergreen communications landscape that caters to the changing needs of different groups, allowing them to take steps along with their customers, rather than playing catch-up two steps behind.
The Customer Engagement Hub
Organisations must evolve alongside their customers, by making themselves available via any channel, from any location, 24/7. This fluidity is supported by the Customer Engagement Hub, which allows consumers to get in touch with businesses through the channel of their choice, from traditional voice and text services to social media platforms and the latest Web Real time Communication (webRTC) technology. Establishing a single view of the customer ensures an optimised experience across each channel. This can transform the way an organisation appears to its customers, by enhancing agent efficiency and increasing First Contact Resolution (FCR). By enabling consumers to interact with businesses on their own terms, the Customer Engagement Hub drives customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and Net Promoter Scores, improving business outcomes.