In March 2006, the Advertising Research Foundation released its first definition of the term “customer engagement.” The ARF defined the phrase as “turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context.” Since March 2006, the definition of customer engagement has undergone further refinement. What has also become clear in the past several years is that enterprise mobility plays an important role in customer engagement.

The Proliferation of Mobile Devices

In 2013, Super Monitoring released an infographic that estimated that by the end of that year, there would be more smartphones on the planet than there were people to use them. This statistic points to the massive proliferation of mobile devices and users’ heavy utilization of them. But what does that mean for the enterprise? Simply put, their customers want to be able to access and share information wherever they are at whatever time they choose. As a result, it is vitally important that businesses reach out to customers through their mobile devices to engage and retain them.

The Mobile Customer Experience

The idea of connecting with customers on yet another platform might leave companies feeling overwhelmed. After all, how many ways can a business reach out to clients? However, given how crucial mobile devices have become, it would be an enormous mistake to overlook the power of mobile customer engagement.

How can the enterprise effectively engage with customers through mobile devices? Firstly, some research is in order. Businesses must determine what customers would benefit most from mobile technology. Secondly, companies need to research which mobile solutions would make the most sense for clients. After carrying out this research, the third step is to figure out whether the business has the capability to develop this solution on its own, whether it has already developed such a solution, or whether it will need to outsource the solution’s development. Next, the firm needs to decide how to architect the solution. Finally, the company either develops the solution in-house or chooses an outside firm to perform this task.

When implementing a technological solution, it’s easy to become wrapped up in the technical details and lose sight of the real reason for the project in the first place: the customers. It’s critical to keep customer use cases and user experience at the forefront during the entire process. Otherwise, the exercise becomes pointless.

Mobile Customer Engagement Tools

Aside from developing applications or a mobile version of a website, what other tools do enterprises require to engage with their customers through mobile devices? It turns out that some companies might not need to invest in new tools at all - as some of the tools they currently work with have already embraced the mobile phenomenon. For example, numerous ERP and CRM solutions embraced mobility and have provided mobile functionality to users for several years.