Is Your Business Ready for Digital Customers?
Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, released this week its yearly Communications Market Report. It makes for interesting reading. The news that smartphones have edged in front of laptops as the preferred method to go online is no real surprise. But the impact that 4G is having on consumer behaviour in less than a year is something to take note of, particularly when you consider the effect it will have on how you will communicate with your customers in the future.
“The surge is being driven by the increasing take-up of 4G mobile broadband, providing faster online access. During 2014, 4G subscriptions have leapt from 2.7 million to 23.6 million by the end of 2014. We now spend almost twice as long online with our smartphones than on laptops and personal computers.”
It’s clear if you want to talk to your customers you need a mobile presence, but having an app nowadays is no longer enough. Devices are getting smaller and if your customers are looking at their mobile phones with half an eye to the TV watching Game of Thrones, then you need the interaction to be smooth, effortless and fast.
“4G users show significantly different online behaviour compared to smartphone owners without 4G access. 4G users are more likely to go online more often, be more attached to their smartphones, do more ‘data-heavy’ activities online and do them more often.”
Mobile apps and heavy data activities don’t go hand in hand, which is why Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, etc are all investing heavily in a speech-enabled user experience to give a consistent, cross-channel way of interfacing with technology.
“Over half of 4G users use their smartphone to make online purchases or use online banking, compared to a third of those without 4G access. 4G users are more likely to use their smartphones for doing online banking (55% vs. 33% of those without 4G) and making online purchases (55% vs. 35%).”
As 4G uptake increases across the globe, so the face of mobile devices will change too. Wearables, connected cars, the automated home are just the beginning and their introduction will change beyond recognition how your customers expect to interact with companies.
The question is how ready are you to talk to digital customers?
If they’re out for a run and suddenly realise they meant to send their great-aunt Ethel some flowers. Can they tap their watch and ask you to deliver them?
If they’re driving to the shop and suddenly remember they forgot to move money from their savings account to their current, can they just ‘ask the car’?
And when they’ve just seen how much their electricity bill is, can they simply ask your app how much it would have cost them if only they’d switch to you?
To be prepared to meet the needs of the digital customer you must have consistency across channels and be future-proofed for the many different devices that are likely to be developed in just the next five years. Natural Language Interaction (NLI) helps solve this issue by providing your customers with an effortless way to engage with you regardless of digital channel, device, language or location.
At Artificial Solutions we’ve developed Teneo to address these issues and more, enabling enterprises just like yours to take advantage of a changing market and interact with digital customers intelligently.