Some recent research will send a chill down the collective spine of all the companies whose contact centers are struggling to meet the expectations of today’s mobile consumers.
Pew issued a survey report, “The Future of Money in a Mobile Age,” that studied emerging trends in mobile payment technology. The prevalence of smart phones and mobile commerce offerings such as Google Wallet are enabling consumers to dispense with their cash and credit cards and make purchases with their phones. Anyone who’s been to Starbucks lately will recognize that mobile payments aren’t part of some wild-eyed science fiction. So mass adoption is more a matter of when, not if.
To that end, Pew’s survey asked respondents whether they agreed with the following statement: “By 2020, most people will have embraced and fully adopted the use of smart-device swiping for purchases they make, nearly eliminating the need for cash or credit cards.” Nearly two-thirds believe that’s a realistic time frame.
While there are a number of factors that must be addressed—competing platforms, security, the role of banks and credit card companies, to name a few—don’t assume that these will slow progress significantly. One only needs to look to Kenya, where 18 million consumers use M-PESA, a mobile banking platform that went live in 2007, to make payments equal to 20 percent of the country’s GDP via text message.
So what should the contact center be doing in 2012 to prepare for the coming mobile storm? A few things jump to mind:
- Implement a robust platform that can evolve to accommodate changing technology
- Develop a multichannel customer experience strategy that emphasizes mobile
- Empower service agents with the tools and capabilities to resolve issues efficiently
With the accelerating pace of technology advances over the past couple of years—remember that the iPad was introduced in January 2010—eight years from now is a relative eternity. Companies that embrace this challenge and make moves now will be in a position to thrive in 2020; those that bury their heads in the sand are going to be in for a rude awakening.
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