This is part four of our series in which we discuss the findings of our recent Effective Mobile Engagement research report. In the last post we looked at how mobile impacts live chat success determinants. This time, we turn our attention to a different channel altogether – email.
One of the conclusions of the report is that a mobile engagement strategy must include text-based channels. We asked the survey respondents how frequently they engaged with companies using their mobile devices through a variety of channels. Of course, you’d expect the most popular method would be a voice call, and while calling was selected a large percentage of the time; it was not the far and away winner. In fact, when looking at the entire sample, it was bested by email for shopping-oriented engagements (49% vs. 58%) and tied email for support engagements (61%).
There is a significant difference among geographies with the EU exhibiting much more use of mobile email. Interestingly, of the EU countries included in the survey (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), the affinity for email was amplified in Germany and Italy, and simply on par with the rest of the world in the other countries.
Not only was email a frequently used channel, but it was a preferred one for 40% of the universe. We asked, for both mobile support and mobile ecommerce engagements, what the respondents’ preferred communication method was, and more than 2,000 people selected email as their #1 preferred contact method for one, the other or both scenarios.
While the importance of email cannot be denied, the research also reminds us that the channel, while important, isn’t the most important thing. In previous research on the effectiveness of live chat, we have found that the #1 determinant of a chat session’s success has nothing to do with technology – it has to do with the skills and knowledge of the agent. Of the more than 2,000 people who chose email as their favorite mobile channel, more than 80% of them wrote in an open-ended response to the question, “What makes for a successful mobile engagement with a company?” Below is a word cloud analysis of the responses – the channel is important, but not nearly as important as what’s on the other end.