Classification of the Mobile Customer Engagement Solutions in the CRM Environment
In the second part of the b.telligent blog series regarding the topic "Mobile Customer Engagement", you will learn how to best proceed when implementing an MCE solution, which three classifications of solutions have proven to be particularly useful in practice and which market-specific providers there are across Germany.
Some businesses do not only use an app to provide certain digital products and services but also in order to display targeted messages via this channel. In order to avoid overloading the customer with push notifications or in-app messages, mobile customer engagement solutions help to analyze displayed and read push or email messages in order to determine e.g. the optimal dispatch time. After the dispatch and reception of messages, there is a huge amount of user data to analyze, but again the rule is that the right message regarding the right product has to be sent to the user at the right time. However, an additional rule applies in the mobile world: the right device has to be used. Because the message only receives the required substantive relevance if you know for which reason and at what time the user uses the respective tablet or smartphone.
Ideally, how should an MCE solution be selected and implemented into an existing infrastructure?
The following approach provides orientation:
- First of all, the focus is on the development of an app, ideally, the surplus value of the app and the customer benefit should be clearly defined and verifiable in advance (e.g. by means of market research conducted in advance).
- The requirements for a mobile customer engagement solution should be clearly defined by a separate evaluation, this also includes requirements of data protection, IT and, if applicable, downstream systems.
- For the selection of the right mobile customer engagement solution, not only the pricing and the degree of the requirement fulfilment should be taken into account, but also whether the provider is able to meet future requirements in a flexible manner. In this rapidly changing market segment, the requirements on the solutions also often change and/or grow dynamically.
- Inserting a so-called SDK (software development kit) in order to implement the functions into the proprietary app is a mandatory step in order to utilize all required functions of the mobile customer engagement solution, such as e.g. life cycle, page views or click rates within the app, and make them analyzable.
- It is also mandatory to define events, jobs, triggers and further analysis points within the app so that the mobile customer engagement solution is able to perform the respective analyses and to display certain messages in accordance with certain rules.
- The next step is the initialization of targeted push and in-app notifications within the app; in this process, it is important to create rules for the dispatch of the messages and to define parameters in order to measure the success and/or the campaign objective.
- Finally, the overall interaction of the components should be extensively tested and operated. After a successful test operation, the solution can go live.
If you want to dispatch campaigns based on individual or event-based user behavior as push or in-app notifications via various devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets) and platforms (IOS, Android, Windows phone), it easily gets very complex and thus confusing. In addition, businesses want to offer their customers the app as interactive communication channel, so that a chat integration for the service center is often defined as part of the requirement.
The following three classifications of mobile customer engagement solutions in the CRM environment have proven to be useful in practice:
- mobile user analytics
- mobile notifications
- mobile service & helpdesk
Mobile User Analytics
Solutions in this segment enable descriptive or explorative customer-related or customer segment specific analyses by means of predefined parameters as well as the visualization of counts or distributions.
Identifying particular customer behaviors and patterns (visiting the app, number of and clicks on different pages within the app, length of visit, favorites, purchases, operating system, hardware, location of the user, data resulting from the webshop) is a frequent subject of the analysis.
A mobile user analytics solution may typically include the following features:
- predefined, personalized dashboards
- monitoring the activities in real time (analyses in real time)
- functions from the reporting world, such as e.g. drag & drop and slice & dice
- automatic segmentation according to behavior (such as e.g. inactivity after x days) and, on this basis, targeted dispatch of push, email or in-app messages.
In contrast to classical analysis tools, many definitions are preconfigured here, such as e.g. user, retention, sessions, activities, user paths and events.
Solutions which belong to the mobile notifications segment enable direct customer contact in order to achieve a particular marketing objective, such as e.g. increase in frequency, increase in sales or loyalty. This includes the situation-based dispatch of push notifications and emails. In addition, it is possible to define user-based rules such as e.g. reaching a certain period of use within the web shop app: without purchase, the customer receives a push message containing information on special offers in the shop.
A further important feature is the cross-platform dispatch of messages, partly via smart TV and the support of automated lifecycle actions (e.g. for new customers in order to increase cross-selling and for win back campaigns) with the objective of increasing the activity within the app.
A mobile notifications solution includes the following features:
- use of the contact channels such as push, rich push email, in-app notification
- automation of individual process steps
- real time notifications
- location-based functions for purposes of geographical localization of users and display of pertinent messages "you will receive xx% off purchases during your current visit in our shop"
- A scheduler to initiate certain processes at certain times of day and intervals
Mobile Service & Helpdesk
Mobile Service and helpdesk solutions enable direct interaction within an app between customer and a business's services and/or helpdesk employees. Benefit: support can be offered to the customer directly within the app without media disruption. The support can range from the dispatch of an email up to a complete chat integration incl. dispatch of images and videos.
Objectives of these solutions:
- Enabling a customer survey regarding the evaluation of the offered solutions
- Developing a targeted increase in influence of the brand in social media
- Creating an efficient customer interaction to meet the customers' expectations regarding a direct problem solution
Ideally, a mobile service & helpdesk solution may include the following features:
- Functions regarding customer feedback
- Possibilities to create and implement online surveys
- Integrating chat functions into the app
- Interface between social media contact points and development and moderation of own communities
In order to develop a reasonable distinction of the individual segments, the following visualization may be useful:
For further information regarding mobile customer engagement solutions and providers, please contact b.telligent personally.
In the third and last part of this blog series, you will receive a tabular overview of the current providers of MCE solutions and their service and product portfolio.