Walk into virtually any establishment these days and what do you see? Heads bent over mobile devices. And, contrary to popular belief, we are not just referring to Millennials. Today, your guests of all generations are double-fisted, cocktail in one hand, mobile phone in the other. These interactions are multi-threaded, with divided attentions split between their face-to-face conversations and “elsewhere” with their mobile devices front and center at the table (or underneath for stealth viewing).
Mobility is the enabler of the online experience economy. Statistically, people spend more hours viewing their mobile phone than any other device connected to the Internet. As operators, capturing and keeping their attention while on their device, well, that is up to you.
Each channel of engagement, whether inside your bar, at home, or on-the-go, represents a customer journey with touch points, or what is called “mobile moments,” opportunities to engage them in a very pervasive and personal way when they glance at their device.
The key to designing a great customer journey regardless of the channel is empathy. To walk in the shoes of your customer, put them first throughout the design process, and truly understand their needs is paramount. Empathy ensures a journey that creates an emotional connection between your customer and your brand while staying true to your brand promise.
The price for an inferior mobile experience: statistics show that 57% of mobile consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
Now, keeping your customers happy and engaged along this journey is no easy task. In my session, Mobile and The Omni-Channel Experience, I will provide critical guiding principles and proven methods to ensure a great mobile experience that is personalized and memorable.
For example, one of the key guiding principles to great experience design starts with discoverability. Since April 21 of this year, favor is given to mobile-friendly websites searched by customers using Google due to an algorithm update. What do I mean by friendly? Simply put, websites that have easy-to-use mobile versions.
By the numbers, 94% of local mobile users, your potential customers, search for location information (e.g., address, hours of operation, etc.) and over 80% trigger visits within 5 hours of an initial search. With the costs of customer acquisition generally outweighing retention-marketing efforts, simple improvements to the ease in which potential customers can find your brand has proven to be worth the investment.
Here is how to cash in: let your mobile customers know you are out there by ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. By taking this first step, search engines like Google will handsomely reward you with better search results and more opportunities to convert new customers into loyal ones.
So, the next time you are in mid-shift, scan the room to see what your guests are doing while they are waiting for your bartenders to craft that perfect Dark and Stormy. Chances are their mobile phone is not too far away.
Remember, you are not just in the bar business, you are in the experience business. Memorable experiences lead to higher engagement, loyalty and advocacy.