Is Mobile a Channel or a Strategy?

As with social media, terms related to mobile customer service are quickly evolving, and must be used and interpreted in context. I’m often asked for advice on shaping a “mobile strategy.” It’s an important question — but without further definition, can be overly vague. Mobile is a vast and ever-expanding array of platforms, tools and capabilities. It would be like referring to “Internet strategy” when the Web was gaining traction in the 1990s. There are implications for marketing, collaboration, production, HR, design, publicity, and much more.

Similarly, many in customer service spheres use the term “channel” for mobile in the context of services and support. That’s accurate when you consider the fact that mobile is a means for the customer to contact or interact with the organization (and vice versa) and the related work must be forecasted and appropriate staffing made. On the other hand, it’s arguably way more than “just” a channel. Mobile is a vast and ever-expanding ecosystem.

This area of service is evolving quickly, and my encouragement is that you focus on customer experience and your overall customer access strategy, and resist the temptation to develop separate strategies for mobile, social, web, call center, et al. Start with who your customers are, and how they choose to interact and access services. The rest flows from there.