Mobile Engagement Automation: The Must-Have Buyer's Guide

Mar 01, 2018

Whether you’re just starting the process of deciding between mobile engagement services or already working with a mobile engagement company and wondering if you could be getting better results, this Buyer's Guide will help you understand the landscape, evaluate the offerings and decide what’s best for you.

Mobile engagement used to be manageable — build an app or create a mobile friendly site, then launch one-to-many campaigns to drive people there. Automation was overkill. After all, you were only dealing with a handful of messages.

Today, one-to-many messages just can’t cut it. Users receive so many requests for their attention, only the most compelling will ever earn engagement. And to be compelling, you must be mobile, personalized and proactive.

That’s where mobile engagement automation comes in. With the right platform, you can deliver real-time mobile engagement that’s tailored not just to your customer, but to your customer’s micromoments. All those little points along their journey are what make or break your customer’s relationship with your brand — and determine their lifetime value.

But mobile engagement automation isn’t the only tool out there. Whether you’re just starting the process of deciding between mobile engagement services or already working with a mobile engagement company and wondering if you could be getting better results, this Buyer's Guide will help you understand the landscape, evaluate the offerings and decide what’s best for you.

Mobile is the new face of engagement — and here are the statistics to prove it

You need to look no further than the latest mobile engagement statistics to realize just how critical mobile engagement is. According to the recent Forrester Wave report, “The next battleground to win, serve, and retain customers is in the moment.” And yet per the same report, those moments total more than 30 billion. Per day. In the U.S. alone. Mobile Engagement Automation (MEA) gives you a way to message to those moments at scale. By mapping your customer journey, you can identify the recurring points of friction for your audience. Then you can use MEA solutions to automatically send messages based on different triggers — a change of address say, or an upcoming bill — or based on a schedule.

Consumers demand mobile-first, contextual experiences. Enterprises must pivot toward delivering proactive, hyperpersonalized content and services when and where a consumer needs or wants them.
Forrester

Proactive CX is the future of mobile engagement. But its effectiveness depends on the mobile engagement tool you end up using. To find the option that will work best for your business and your customers, we’ve created a guide to what’s out there.

The 5 most common types of mobile engagement solutions

There are lots of ways to create a mobile engagement digital experience, but they’re not all equal. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Apps

Native apps are powerful assets that allow for account viewing, information and product usage — plus they give companies the ability to message to users via push notifications. They’re also expensive to create and maintain, and they require customers to download them and regularly choose to engage with them. That may be possible for games or consumer entertainment brands, but considering the average consumer downloads zero apps per month, for most companies, it’s not an option.

2. Portals

Many service providers include portals in their digital strategy as a means for customers to take actions and access services. Much like apps, however, they demand considerable investment to build and maintain, and they expect customers to opt for self-service, locating the tools and information they need on their own. And since they are built for all people and all use cases, it can create content overkill that just leaves customers confused and frustrated.

3. SMS

SMS is a great notification method. It’s inexpensive, easy to update and more and more consumers prefer it. It’s also limited to 160 plain-text characters, so it simply can’t provide customers with rich experiences. And it’s not a secure medium, so PHI and other sensitive data can’t be sent via text. Plus, stand-alone SMS providers require you to collect and manage your customers’ mobile numbers and permissions in order to stay TCPA compliant – a tall order for businesses that don’t have that data already.

4. SMS-to-Landing Pages

Landing pages solve for the 160-character limit of SMS — now you can send people from a simple notification to a full webpage. While useful for directing users to mass-produced content, they lack individualization, so you can’t provide that personalization that makes mobile engagement metrics soar. And you still have to collect mobile numbers and permissions if you want your messages to reach a broad audience.

5. Mobile Engagement Automation

Mobile engagement automation solutions are quickly becoming the go-to tool for creating engaging customer experiences on mobile because of the way they blend the solutions above. MEA gives you a way to deploy, maintain and optimize personalized app-like mobile experiences at scale in order to meet customers’ in their moments of need. While the specifics of the solution vary by service provider, they all let you set up a system of automatic, mobile messages that send based on calendar events, business needs and, most importantly, moments in the customer lifecycle. As those moments become smaller and smaller, businesses will no longer be able to rely on old standards like apps and portals that do all things for all people. Rather, they'll need a tool that allows them to spin up individualized microexperiences at any time. As CX becomes the competitive battlefield, Forrester predicts a rise in MEA solutions.

The mobile engagement automation market is growing because consumers demand mobile-first, contextual experiences. MEA solutions offer digital business professionals the tools they need to serve customers in these micromoments — customer journey mapping, mobile engagement design, and analytics.
Forrester

At Relay, we’ve studied what works and what doesn’t from mobile engagement solutions and used our learnings to create a solution that overcomes the customer adoption, personalization and security challenges that can limit your capabilities.

Our easy-to-use mobile CX Builder gives you drag-and-drop tools to design and deploy turnkey mobile web experiences without writing a line of code. It also snaps right into your other systems, connecting with your CRM or CSP tools to track your customers’ journeys and driving traffic to other tools you’ve already created, like portals. Your users will receive a text notification that links them to a secure, personalized website where they can access content that’s been tailored just for them.

With Relay, you can provide individualization at scale. And you can do it fast. Instead of pouring extensive time and money into developing tools without knowing whether your customers want them, you can create and deploy mobile experiences on Relay in minutes.That allows you to respond to your users in real-time in a way no other solution can.

Choosing the right mobile engagement automation platform for your business

Which solution you choose depends entirely on your business. If you’re a consumer brand customers want to hear from, engagement may be easy. If you’re a service provider, on the other hand, engagement may be tougher. And if you have regulated customer information, like many Relay clients do, engagement may be tougher still, requiring a tool that’s purpose-built to engage customers who may otherwise drop off.

Any way you choose to engage on mobile is better than not engaging at all, and all five mobile engagement strategies provide useful functionality. It’s only a mobile engagement automation tool like Relay, though, that can stand in for the other four options. We give you a single plug-and-play solution that can manage your entire mobile customer experience, taking you from passive engagement to proactive CX.

The proof is in the user engagement data. Our clients have seen massive leaps in their mobile engagement that have driven a 40 percent faster loan application completion time for Citizens Bank, a 175 percent increase in people reviewing their plan information for a health insurance company and a 32 percent reduction in inbound calls for a cable company that used Relay to guide customers through self-installations. These results translate into real retention, and real dollars.

A mobile engagement automation definition for key stakeholders

Just like any tool, the more business units that benefit, the easier it will be to get funding approved. Aligning your mobile engagement strategy with the metrics your lines of business value will help you gain internal support, giving you the best chance for success.

Here are a few stakeholders who can benefit from mobile engagement automation — and how Relay can help:

Marketing Lead

Challenges

  • Increasing pressure to drive strategic growth and retention
  • Reaching and engaging customers digitally
  • Achieving and articulating results from marketing investments
  • Creating a seamless experience across channels
  • Using data for ongoing targeting and measurement
  • Balancing operational, strategic and transformational agendas

Benefits Relay Offers

  • An immediate and measurable impact on your mobile engagement metrics
  • A way to prepare your organization for future trends and opportunities in mobile engagement
  • Accelerated adoption of other digital assets, driving an increased return on those investments
  • Integration with your existing marketing automation systems, so you only need to manage one set of data

Customer Experience Lead

Challenges

  • Understanding changing customer behavior and preferences
  • Designing experiences for complex, in-the-moment or unpredictable customer journeys
  • High reliance on technology resources
  • Ongoing competitive threats by disruptors that focus on customer experience

Benefits Relay Offers

  • The ability to scale your customer support efforts and meet rising consumer expectations
  • A platform for easy and effective communications that improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores and reduce customers’ need to call
  • The CX Builder, a tool to create and deliver turn-key customer interactions and optimize workflows for the best results without writing a line of code

Multichannel Marketing Lead

Challenges

  • Increasing pressure to prove investments have a direct impact on revenue, customer retention and satisfaction
  • Developing interactions that work effectively across channels
  • Limited experience in emerging digital technologies and techniques

Benefits Relay Offers

  • A way to augment multichannel strategies with a high-performing mobile channel that can drive customer engagement across channels
  • A platform to aggregate all customer engagement that integrates with your orchestration systems and builds strong, loyal customer relationships Product Owner Challenges
  • Growing pressure to identify new customer acquisition, retention and growth strategies
  • Increasing competitive threats that create a high risk of churn
  • Influencing customer behavior Benefits Relay Offers
  • A new ability to pull customers through lifecycle events and close knowledge gaps, resulting in higher average revenue per user (ARPU) and stickiness

IT Lead

Challenges

  • Staying ahead of leading edge applications, architectures and strategies to create value, drive engagement and enable digital business transformation

Benefits Relay Offers

  • The CX Builder platform, which accelerates digital initiatives by allowing other teams to create message flows without needing development resources
  • A way to enhance customer experiences and drive agility and innovation without displacing or changing your core systems

The value of a partner who can go beyond automation and deliver a mobile engagement strategy

Successful mobile engagement depends on the answers to so many questions: How will you drive user adoption? How will you remain compliant with regulatory requirements? How will you create high-performing customer experiences? How will you integrate with your existing systems? How will you measure success and gain internal support?

Creating a total solution by piecing together parts isn’t efficient or effective, and building your own can be costly, and worse, put your organization at risk.

Finding the right mobile engagement partner gets you out of those traps, so you can engage customers directly. And with a mobile engagement automation tool like Relay, you can do so proactively, staying one step ahead of customers to solve for their frustrations and create delight around even the most everyday interactions.

Ready to find the right partner for you? Check out our 10-point guide to finding the right mobile engagement provider.

Ready to find the right partner for you? Check out our 10-point guide to finding the right mobile engagement provider.

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