It must have been around a decade ago when I first received a ‘text alert’ from a bank on my mobile phone. My bank had let me register my mobile phone number with them for this and once they activated it, I started receiving text alerts after every credit card transaction I made.
Today, I still receive these alerts, but I also have an ‘app’ the bank has additionally given me, from which I can do a lot of things – check balances, look up nearest ATMs, transfer money, make utility payments and so on. It is all so cool.
Not just consumers
Things have changed at work too. To be honest none of this anywhere close to what is really possible today with mobile devices, but I can now approve travel requests someone from my team raises, approve expenses, leave requests, etc. without having to log into a portal and painfully navigate to do all that.
From being a passive platform for one way alerts, the things that can be done with mobile phones is incredible today. Things have really become two-way – data of some kind is being received and sent.
So really there are two important implications of the way mobile is impacting your organization – one is the change it is bringing on the delivery side. The interfaces, the user experience are all dramatically improving and are allowing firms to enable and engage with customers better and in radically new ways. In fact mobile apps are a great way to prompt customer self-service and even action to unlock new cross and up-selling opportunities.
The second implication – which is probably more important, is really in understanding that from a single system step that throws out data (for text alerts) to a mobile device, we are now increasing the number of points in organization processes where mobile devices are actively ‘in conversation with’. As we pack more functionality on the app, we are allowing a larger number of processes with touch points to devices. These touch points are no longer passive – they are points where two-way communication is required and in many cases, points that are really triggering new processes themselves.
So the bottom line is that we are no longer looking at mobile touch-points the way we saw text alerts 10 years ago. We are really not ‘garnishing’ our processes, but actually infusing ‘mobile’ to existing processes – and so process must change, adapt and align to make it all work better in unison. I hesitate to call it disruption – I think the word is too foreboding, but the need to ‘infuse’ mobile possibilities is going to do something close to that to processes involved. Mobile will demand a different degree of responsiveness from your existing processes. The old way of thinking of a process and workflow has to be re-visited.
And so we really are talking about a definitive strategy to respond to the mobile revolution.
And trust me, there is a sense of urgency to it. The big shift on the mobile device has definitely begun. By letting mobility in, you are opening the door to more customer interaction moments of truth. There have been instances where a single bad customer experience has rippled across the internet causing significant damage to brands and that can well happen to any brand, because there is another very important ‘revolution’ called Social Networking to which the mobile revolution is intricately intertwined with.
They are both happening from the same device – and what connects the two is merely a few flicks of the thumb.