Mobile engagement provides businesses with direct access to their customer base and can be a powerful tool to improve the user experience.

True or false: the first and last thing you touch as you start and end your day is your cellphone. If you care to admit it, the answer is “true”. And why not? Mobile phone users are increasing every year due to the wide range of interactions the device helps perform. Apps for e-mail, messaging and social networking facilitate contact that is now deemed “essential”, and apps that are recreational such as for entertainment, fitness and gaming fill in the rest. By 2016, there will be 4.43 billion mobile phone users in the world, and our numbers are set to rise to 5.07 billion by 2019.

Imagine if you could send targeted messages through all those devices—these little portals that lead directly to consumers who can’t wait to check their notifications. That’s a lot of people your enterprise could be talking to, not to mention a lot of people who could be genuinely listening.

Draw users to your content with mobile-responsive design

Users on mobile phones make up a huge audience, and with the addition of tablet users, the landscape widens so that mobile in general spells many opportunities for enterprises to enhance their reach. It’s in a company’s best interest to make mobile engagement part of their long-term digital strategy.

Be part of that mobile data traffic explosion by drawing users to your content. Ensure that people can access your site along with all your marketing content on their phones by designing these to be mobile-responsive. This means that your website will have to be designed in such a way that users can easily read the content on the different devices they own, whether they’re using a phone, a tablet or a desktop.

On the small screen of a phone, content can be viewed in one column, while a bigger screen such as for a tablet may display the same in two. Images in responsive design will also resize automatically for optimal viewing on different devices. Changes such as these will make it easier for mobile users to peruse your catalog and make it more likely for customers to return to your content.

Create a mobile app that can be the user’s virtual assistant

Apps are the quickest ways for mobile users to make digital interactions. It’s easier to navigate through transactions when users can swipe or push buttons in an app in place of such steps as calling a number, being put on hold, giving a delivery address, and requesting for today’s specials before placing an order. When a mobile user orders food through a restaurant’s app, four of the previously mentioned steps are eliminated: the delivery information and menu are already in the app, and a few button clicks are all it takes to send a food request through to the restaurant.

To engage mobile users, the enterprise must create an app that reflects what its web and real-life storefront can provide. The app must be the customer’s virtual assistant and the enterprise’s virtual employee—it should work to provide the customer with information on a complete range of services and make purchasing easy by providing clear buttons to facilitate the sale. The app should also be visually consistent with the enterprise’s branding strategy as it basically represents the business at the user’s fingertips.

Consider the devices and platforms that your customers are using when designing an app for your enterprise. Keep in mind that most users have mobile devices that use iOS or Android systems, and ensure that your app has interoperability. It would also be worthwhile to think about how your app can connect to other apps, benefiting from their user base and making yours convenient for a wider group.

Allow for socialization on all platforms

Mobile users don’t just want to do stuff online—they also want to post about it! Your content should have options for connecting the user to their social media accounts. On your website, you should always include buttons for your social media accounts, and you can choose the appropriate social networks for your enterprise as well. A clothing store would do well to have Instagram and Pinterest to showcase photos of their product catalog, while a telecommunications company may need Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to receive and send messages to customers. Know which social media spaces your customers are inhabiting and establish a presence there.

An enterprise app should also give mobile users the option to post about their experience and share their opinions about their services. Good reviews from users can positively affect the opinions of their peers, and bad reviews will give you the feedback you need to improve services. Business apps should also offer the option for social sign-on—logging in with another social media account—because it saves users the tedium of entering their information all over again, and ease-of-use gives your app a competitive edge.

Mobile users listen to personalized messages

Mobile technology and use has enabled enterprises to find out more about their customers: where they are, how they shop, what they like, etc. Analytics and other tools can help make sense of the collected customer data and let you predict trends in customer behavior or preferences.
However, information collected from mobile users would be useless if the enterprise doesn’t act upon it.

Personalize your messages to mobile users by giving them offers that are relevant to them. For example, with geolocation, an enterprise can determine when a user is within proximity of their store and offer them a special discount through a push notification on their phone. An enterprise can also detect how a user navigates through transactions with their app so that it can recommend a faster way to get things done next time.

Mobile engagement is the most direct line from enterprise to customer as it happens through devices that are constantly in user’s hands, and a lot of magic can happen when businesses are willing to adapt the user experience to it. There are many ways to take advantage of this powerful connection, but whatever an enterprise’s mobile strategy is, it should be in sync with the overall digital strategy of the business. When mobile engagement works in cooperation with other aspects of the enterprise’s digital presence, it enhances the entire customer experience with seamless connection and usability—qualities that will surely entice mobile users to come back for more.