Toothbrushes, Toilets, Human Beings…and Mobile

Oisin Lunny, Chief Evangelist – October 14, 2014


We recently learned from mobile network analysis firm GSMA Intelligence that humans are now in the minority compared to SIM cards. More people have had cell phones than toilets for over a year according to the UN, while mobile devices overtook toothbrushes way back in 2011, according to Google.

It seems that the list of “things” in our world whose numbers are being rapidly outstripped and indeed dwarfed by the number of mobile phones is growing every month.


Mobile is forecasted to help bring the internet to almost 100% of the world’s population by 2020, according to Google, while Apple is busy revolutionizing everything from retail payment to healthcare monitoring with the launch of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch combo, complete with iBeacon and a long awaited NFC implementation.

But what does this all mean for you and me, and for all of the brands we interact with on a daily basis?

Firstly, people are on their mobile devices, so a mobile-centric approach to customer engagement is no longer a “nice to have,” it’s without doubt a MUST have. Mobile devices are how people choose to access their digital lives, so companies need to be there as well. Companies who are not using mobile are not connecting with the public, and more importantly, their employees and customers.

Secondly, utilising mobile effectively needs to occur seamlessly at multiple customer touch points. It’s no longer viable to keep mobile engagement in a functional silo. Mobile can be the glue that binds almost all of a consumer’s interaction with a brand. When customer experience is designed in organisational silos, the result for consumers can be very confusing.

Confused dot com

Finally, with new devices opening up a myriad of new use cases, its vital that enterprises work with a partner that can adapt quickly to meet their evolving needs. Brands need their mobile services to live on a platform that is flexible, scalable, and reliable. Today’s mobile savvy consumers have zero tolerance for a sub-standard interaction.

One area of enterprise-to-consumer interaction that is transforming rapidly is customer service.

Research is showing, loud and clear, that consumers are yearning for modern customer service options that dovetail more elegantly with their mobile-first lifestyles. Popular grievances include navigating circular IVR mazes, tasteful lift-music while waiting on hold for an undefined period of time, and having to repeat the same details with every new “hop” as they are transferred through a call centre.

For some of the most common customer service use cases, such as a simple password reset, it simply doesn’t make sense to involve a call centre. The customer’s mobile device can be validated to receive the password directly, in response to them sending an SMS. This has the added benefit of freeing up a call center’s agents to deal with the more complex support issues. Another great use case is utilising an SMS callback option where the customer simply texts in a keyword to request a service callback, and is notified immediately in how many minutes they will be contacted by a customer support agent. This gives the consumer a feeling of being in control, and reduces the number of people suffering from a lift-music overdose while on hold.

Jazz flute? I dabble...

At OpenMarket, we provide flexible, scalable, and reliable mobile engagement solutions that are empowering some of the world’s leading enterprises to mobilise their entire customer service lifecycle. We distilled our thoughts around what customer service means in a mobile-first world into a white paper entitled, “How Mobile is Transforming Enterprise Customer Experience”.

OpenMarket White Paper

You can download a free copy of the white paper and learn about:

  • Setting a mobile course for customer experience
  • How customer experience spans the entire lifecycle
  • Meeting customers where they are, on the mobile channel

You will also find out that getting started with mobile is easier than you might think.

In this paper we describe a more holistic view of customer service. We provide real examples of how OpenMarket customers have re-engineered specific touch points for mobile engagement, and we recommend practical steps for designing new and differentiating experiences that will attract and retain customers.

According to ICMI, 68% of customer service professionals surveyed said mobile customer service improves user experience, while almost 62% think it’s a competitive differentiator.

For more information about using mobile for customer service, talk to your local OpenMarket sales team to see how we can work together.


Image credits:
Toothbrush comic:
Jazz flute:

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