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Author: Geoff Galat

Geoff Galat

Why online businesses still need call centres

Driven by growing multichannel interactions with their customers, many businesses are moving away from call centres in favour of social media and virtual help centres to deal with customer complaints and queries.

The thought is that customers engaging with lower cost channels should be supported through siloed touch points and diverted away from higher cost call centres.

However, the power of the call centre shouldn’t be understated.


How can travel operators provide a first-class digital customer experience?

Online holiday bookings at a record high. According to the latest ITB World Travel Trends Report, 65% of all holidays are now booked online, compared to just 24% that are booked via travel agencies.

Mobile travel bookings are also on the rise, with one in five UK holiday-makers now booking holidays using a mobile device, according to a recent survey by Tradedoubler Insight Unit.

As competition moves from the high street to digital channels, it’s now more important than ever for online travel operators to ensure customers have the best possible experience across all channels.

Broken links, payment problems, poor navigation and a lack of information can force customers to competitors’ sites, ultimately losing business. To avoid this, online travel operators need to take action fast.


Data-driven customer experience is tough to copy

Great customer experience is one of the hardest things for your competitors to copy.

A strategy of continuous improvement can offer clear differentiation from competitors.

However, it’s only when we measure what customers are actually seeing and doing when they are interacting with our digital channels, that we can understand where they might have issues or unmet needs. 


4G war to drive mobile customer experience trends

As a major battle begins for UK 4G customers, brands need to be prepared for a rapid increase in mobile customer experience expectations.

O2, the UK subsidiary of Spanish operator Telefonica, is due to launch its 4G service on August 29, finally providing a rival to EE’s market monopoly.

Meanwhile, Vodafone is expected to also launch its 4G service in August and Three is expected to follow suit shortly.


Brands face up to key mobile optimisation decisions

Ahead of the Apple App Store’s fifth birthday next month, some brands are beginning to seriously weigh up the benefits of investing in a dedicated app versus optimising their existing sites for mobile.

Choosing the most viable mobile strategy is now a major element in most businesses’ plans, and this is the key message emerging from the Mobile Experience Trends Briefing, which we recently launched with Econsultancy.


Reducing customer struggle: get mobile right the first time

Last week we all waited with baited breath to find out ‘what’ exactly Apple was going to launch at this year’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC).  

And when Tim Cook unveiled a new operating system and some product upgrades, many of us were a little disappointed, having hoped for a shiny new and exciting smart phone or tablet. 

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Mobile marketing is on the move

Capitalising on 2012's success, mobile commerce is finally reaching its stride, and all the signs suggest that 2013 is a banner year for mobile.

Data shows that more and more consumers shop and buy through their mobile devices. In fact, a quick recap of 2012 shows that online shopping reached an all-time high during the 2012 Christmas period, with 30% growth on Cyber Monday alone. Sales soared and consumers flocked to their tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices to make purchases.

What this also asserts is that marketers, ecommerce executives and retailers must examine the customer experience and eliminate customer pain points that block successful conversions for the retailer.

If a customer voices issues with mobile transactions, retailers must identify the issue and why it causes customers to react negatively, then they must resolve the issue immediately.

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Understanding the digital consumer

A lot has been made of the growth of digital device usage and the complexity it brings as we look to build an ever-clearer picture of customer behavior.

With more channels and ways of shopping at our disposal, the behaviour of individual consumers differs significantly from person to person. The result is that effective customer experience management now includes more data points than ever before.

By creating customer behaviour models that provide audience specific insights however, this digital maze is perfectly navigable.


Are we investing at the wrong end of the sales funnel?

For years now, working in the web optimisation space, I’ve always been frustrated by one simple fact: businesses spend millions of pounds every year driving customers to a website, but spend almost nothing helping those customers convert. For me, it’s a wholly misguided strategy, but is one that doesn’t seem set to change any time soon.

It’s easy to come up with reasons for this remaining the status quo and many myths exist. My favourite is perhaps the case that marketing is relatively expensive whereas popping up a website is a drop in the ocean. But with declines in the effectiveness of traditional marketing combined with increased web sophistication and multiple digital channels now available, it’s surely getting to the stage where the opposite is becoming true.


Will tablets beat smartphones in the m-commerce race?

Smartphones are for browsing, tablets are for buying. That’s if you believe the results of a recent Sapient/Nitro survey, which shows that 56% of consumers rate tablets as useful for shopping compared to just 38% on smartphones.

There’s no doubt any online retailer reading these results will sit up and take note. But in order to turn this into an actionable mobile strategy, it is important to understand more about consumer behaviour on mobile devices of all types and how that behaviour changes and evolves. 


E-commerce growth is plateauing: how do you stay competitive?

Recent figures published by BRC-KPMG give the UK retail industry another grim reality check.

According to the report, there was only a small 2.3% rise in total UK retail sales numbers during February 2012, a significant slowdown when compared to January (where sales grew 11.3%) and 2011 (where overall growth was 18.5%).


Making the most of mobile commerce opportunities in 2012

Mobile is booming. Chances are that, if you’re shopping online in 2012, increasingly you’ll be carrying out part of the transaction on a mobile device.

The majority of smartphone users are now using a mobile device to browse and shop online while, in the UK, 5m tablet owners are expected to purchase a second device in 2012.

IHS screen digest recently released research predicting that in-app purchases will hit £3.6 billion in 2015, accounting for as much as 64% of mobile app market revenues. 

So one thing is clear: if optimising your mobile channel isn’t high on your list of priorities in 2012, it really should be.