By Dennis Jones
It’s the smartphone age, after all, so most brands understand that the median consumer turns to their mobile device first of all. Consequently, more brand to customer interaction is happening over mobile channels than ever before, starting at the very beginning of the customer lifecycle. When it comes to loyalty programs, for instance, a majority of members (across industry) enroll in programs online, not at brick and mortar locations, and continue to expect a high service experience on those mobile channels, quite the change for the loyalty programs of yore.
So it would be an exaggeration to suggest that brands aren’t adapting to the increased mobility of their customers – for one, they are offering more mobile channels. However, they might not be adapting fast enough; and that might have something to do with the pace of change in consumer desire for connectivity.
Let’s look at the data. More and more experiences are becoming optimized for mobile, because more and more people consume those experiences via mobile. The quality of experience of those experiences (yes, we’re getting meta) matters to consumers and should matter to brands. That’s where Wi-Fi comes in. Consumers have already shown a preference for Wi-Fi, in part because Wi-Fi offers a better quality of experience. Brands might know this, but they don’t know the depth of preference for Wi-Fi.
When surveyed, over 80 percent of mobile users said that the concept of not having Wi-Fi makes them anxious. Further, despite the risks, inconveniences, and negative perceptions, nearly 80 percent of mobile users access free Wi-Fi or on-demand Wi-Fi at least once a week. Within that larger sample, there’s a subset of of power users who access free or on-demand Wi-Fi upwards of 16 times a week.
To bring it back to where we started, brands have a vested interest in securing mobile loyalty from their customer base and that means guaranteeing a high quality of experience for the mobile experiences they themselves offer.