How to Make Your Mobile Strategy Really Suit Customer Needs

Mobile strategy in the early days! Journalist Lucy Morgan

Mobile strategy in the early days! (Journalist Lucy Morgan)

If your mobile strategy is going to work, it has to work for customers and staff

Renee Cacchillo, Senior Vice President of Customer, Brand & Technology at Safelite Group spoke about their mobile strategy at the recent CXPA Insight Exchange. In today’s episode we discuss some of the things they’ve done to improve both staff and customer experience, including improving the company’s mobile strategy.

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Safelite repairs and replaces damaged car windshields. About 75% of its workforce is mobile: they travel to the client to do the repair work.

The company decided a while ago that it had to refocus. Who was going to be it’s priority: shareholders, employees or customers? And what was it going to be as a company: Operations focused? Product focused? Customer focused?

The decision was to become customer focused, and to do so by also putting employees as higher on the priority list than shareholders. Ultimately, they concluded, shareholder value will follow if you focus on the people inside and outside your organization.

Should We Have A Mobile App?

Renee Cacchillo, SVP, Customer, Brand & Technology at Safelite Group discussed mobile strategy

Renee Cacchillo, SVP, Customer, Brand & Technology at Safelite Group discussed its mobile-first strategy

Given that its workforce was mobile, and people were likely to be on the road when the need for service arose, a mobile app seemed obvious. But on reflection, maybe it didn’t make sense.

  • How often is a customer going to need to use the app? You don’t need your windshield repaired regularly (unless you live on a very bumpy gravel road!), so odds are that by the time you needed it you’d have forgotten you ever downloaded it.
  • What benefit would a mobile app offer over simply a mobile-friendly website? None.

So instead of building an app for customers, they focused on having a really mobile-first, phone-friendly website. That included thinking of things like minimizing how much typing one has to do on the website to submit a request or even to find relevant information.

A mobile app, however, did make sense for the technicians who were going out to do the repairs. They are now even going beyond a phone app for mobile staff: they don’t want workers pulling out phones while driving, so they are moving to smart watches for them instead.

Create a More Uber-Like Experience

Instead of fearing customer reviews, Safelite decided to embrace them. The reality is that customers will turn to reviews to decide who to use when they need things like car damage repaired.

Safelite was confident that its quality and reliability were good enough that those reviews would be mostly positive, so it made it easy for customers to instantly rate their satisfaction with the experience, on their phones, as soon as the repair was done.

If a customer isn’t happy, the request for immediate reviews also means that the company hears about it right away and can try to solve whatever caused the dissatisfaction promptly instead of having a grumpy customer simply telling their friends to choose a different company.

Don’t Assume You Know What Your Customers Want

Nobody likes sitting around waiting for a repair person to show up. So it seemed obvious that shrinking the window for a possible arrival time from 4 hours to 2 would make customers happier.

But the obvious isn’t always right.

Through customer research they realized that a two hour window wasn’t significantly better in customers’ minds than a 4 hour window. Instead, they learned, what customers really wanted was to be able to go about their day, and get a text message with a 30 minute warning when the repair technician was on the way.

They also realized that both the technicians and customers were happier with a text-based notice rather than a phone call.

Moral of the story:

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