There are still many business owners out there who are under the false impression that smartphones don’t matter much to their business.
Yet most of these same businesses regularly take phone orders, bookings, reservations, quotes, customer service or sales calls over the phone, perhaps along with a little cold calling or warm outbound telemarketing.
The thing is that in the vast majority of cases, these calls are made from (or to) a smartphone. According to figures published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) last year, around 25% of Australians no longer have a fixed phone service – they just use their mobile. In total, around 4.4 million Australians are now mobile only – and that figure is likely to be higher now.
Why it matters
By all probability, unless your customer base is predominantly over 80, most of your phone sales, bookings and enquiries have come from smartphones. In fact, at this point, more than 59% of the Australian population now own a smartphone.
Now, if you were a retailer and 59% of your customers shopped at a particular outlet, you would probably be horrified if that experience wasn’t up to scratch or – worse – your shopfront were so poorly laid out or signposted that many of your customers were going elsewhere. Yet that’s precisely what your business is doing if it doesn’t have an effective mobile strategy.
So it’s worth taking a moment to look at what sort of experience you’re giving your mobile customers, even if it’s just in terms of voice calls. What happens between when they pick up their smartphone and go “Siri/OK Google/Cortana, I’m looking for…” and when they’re actually on a call to your business?
Get the mobile marketing basics right
In a previous article, I discussed four basic steps to an effective mobile marketing strategy. Suffice to say, as I’ve said countless times before, the number one thing your business needs – even before native apps for iOS and Android – is a decent mobile or responsive website.
Why it’s so important to get this right is because you are marketing to the very device your customers will use to order your product and – increasingly (with Apple Pay and other payment platforms) – pay for it.
Make it easy to call
Here’s something that’s worth keeping in mind, especially for the next time you’re looking to update your website, which many people (including some web designers) don’t realise.
The first is that, just as you can link to a web address, you can also make a link to the phone number. Basically, instead of making a link to, say, “smartcompany.com.au”, you’d make the link to “tel:0123456789” (replace 0123456789 with your phone number).
Putting a link to your phone number on your mobile website is such a ridiculously simple thing to do, and yet many businesses don’t do it. In turn, this means customers need to jump between the web browser, the home screen and the phone app on their smartphone in order to make a call.
A couple of other free tools to look at
There are a couple of other tools that are worth looking at if you’re keen to improve your mobile experience.
The first of these is that Google has a free tool that allows you to put in your web address and check to see at the press of a button whether it’s mobile-friendly or not, as well as some principles of good mobile website design.
One system to rule them all
Again according to ACMA, a massive 77% of adults transfer funds using their mobile phones, while 46% use them to pay bills. Meanwhile, with people aged 25 to 34 being 33% more likely that average to use mobile commerce, whereas use of those same services was 58% less likely than average among consumers aged 65 and older.
So it is absolutely essential when you choose an online shopping or billing platform (a topic I discussed in greater depth a couple of weeks ago) that it works with orders from smartphones. You need a platform that can power both a mobile and a desktop version of your website.
One final thought: The average person looks at their mobile phone more than 1500 times per week. Your job is to make sure those potential customers are looking at your business.