Sep 17

Mobile Enterprise Business Errors (Unintended) #7: Ruining your customers experience on mobiles

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Genesys European G-Force conference in Barcelona.  Genesys has adopted the slogan “Save the world from bad customer service”. In a mobile context, three aspects raised in Barcelona deserve comment.

The first was the charming story of a child’s prized Green Pig being left, by accident, at a Los Angeles (near Hollywood) hotel.  On discovering when arriving home in Europe that Green Pig was missing, the parents called the Hotel which swiftly located the missing toy and promised to mail it back as soon as possible.  The hotel staff, however, went further, in best Hollywood-make-believe style.  They created a short photo record of Green Pig enjoying himself away from his owner: there was a picture of Green Pig at the bar, on the running machine, tucked into bed – and finally being handed into a taxi to head to the airport for the flight home.  Needless to say that extra effort, included with in the package sent, was highly appreciated when Green Pig finally rejoined his owner.

This customer-oriented excellence is the converse of what too often happens when builders of mobile apps fail to do sufficient work (or are lazy about ‘whole completion).  Eric Tamblyn and Mayur Anadkat are responsible within Genesys for adding mobile capabilities as part of multi-channel (voice, IVR, web, sms, etc.) support offered on the Genesys platform.  In talking with them about instances of mobile enterprise business errors (unintended) that they had come across both offered the same type of example – incomplete finishing of mobile apps as well as a failure to understand the implications and opportunities of multi-channel communication.

Take the airline KLM.  It has a clean and visually appealing app.  But, if the app cannot do what you want, you are referred to a contact page.  On that page are phone numbers.  But, if you try to click on any of these, nothing will happen – even when the app is running on a smartphone and when the logical action is to start a call when you select the phone number.  Furthermore, if you do manually make a call, all context about what you (the user) were trying to do on the mobile device has gone — and effecively you have to start all over again.  This is neither necessary nor desirable (from both the customer and app-owner point of view).

Put another way, an app like this is crazily incomplete, and the very antithesis of the excellence of the Green Pig customer experience.  Yet do not think KLM is  alone.  For example, Iberia can send you an sms about a flight change and asks you to contact your nearest Iberia office — without telling you where that is (which is way more irritating than what KLM does).  Many, many other enterprises, from banks to retailers, are making the same sort of error in mobile app completeness – which irritates their customers as well as overtly failing to exploit mobility.

There are variations on this.  For example, should you look at the web site of the UK hotel chain Travelodge from a mobile phone browser to try to book a hotel room, it will ask you to authorize the app to find your location (presumably, if one is positive, so that it can find the nearest Travelodge to you or, if you think negatively, to track you in future).  If you decline to permit the app to locate you – which may be wholly irrelevant if you are in Barcelona today and looking for a hotel in London or Manchester in 3 weeks time – you can go no further in the app.  You are blocked; the potential sale is lost.

These examples of Mobile Enterprise Business Errors (Unintended) rightly infuriate.  Presumably the whole purpose of building an app for a smart device is to assist, to add a new channel of communication.

KLM, Iberia and Travel Lodge are not unique.  Watch out for other such unintended idiocies – and if you encounter them, send details to me at:

2 thoughts on “Mobile Enterprise Business Errors (Unintended) #7: Ruining your customers experience on mobiles

  1. Hotel

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