Thursday, December 21, 2006

Smartphones Are Yet Another Reason for Customer Experience Management

Yesterday I wrote about the opportunities presented by smartphones for radically new business intelligence applications. The December 11 issue of eWeek had a special advertising section sponsored by VeriSign Inc. that frames the topic more elegantly with a notion of “three screens”: television, computer and smartphone. (“New Opportunities for Three Screens & Beyond”, eWeek, December 11, 2006. In a presumably unintended irony, I could not find a copy online.)

VeriSign argues that consumers will use all three media as part of “one interactive communication and media system.” This implies both that they “expect to access any content at any time on any device” and that different devices will be used in different, complementary ways based on their nature. It points to several trends including:

- the distinction between the screens is blurring as TV becomes more interactive and PCs act like telephones
- social networking sites are creating new media networks
- more content is becoming available on more devices
- synergies across devices creates a more interactive, engaging environment (e.g., text message polling on “American Idol”)
- physical and digital worlds will interact (e.g., location-based coupons on mobile phones)

From my point of view, these are all gravy. I was happy with the notion of “three screens” itself, since it nicely gives the smartphone parity with the TV and PC as a device worth managing in its own right.

Even closer to my heart, the paper uses the language of “experience”—as in, “three-screen experience” and “users want the experience to be simple, fast, reliable, and secure”. I didn’t see the phrase “customer experience” anywhere, but the connection is still there. In fact, the coordinating activities across three screens really requires a customer experience management framework (for example, Client X Client’s Customer Experience Matrix) to be effective. This means the three screen view can be part of the case for customer experience management: it’s another important challenge (or opportunity) that companies can only meet by adopting customer experience management techniques. Which is what they need to hear. A lot.

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