Community and service

Going mobile-first for a better customer experience

mobileMobile-first is a customer interaction methodology and a development and software paradigm all at once. It’s both an overarching business consulting strategy and a set of very different principles from one industry and company to the next. Mobile’s where it’s at, and regardless of the size of your customer community, that’s where you need to be too.

A common rule of thumb in designing the customer experience, whether in branding strategy or website development, is the concept of graceful degradation versus progressive customer experience enhancement. When developers had to program for a growing number of devices and browsers, graceful degradation was a way to make sure the essential experience was maintained across platforms despite any service fulfillment shortcomings like smaller screens or plug-in restrictions. It’s even more important now responsive design has become the industry standard, making it possible to build one website that works the same for mobile and desktop with the same content, and the layout reformatted to suit the digital services’ purpose.

Even though mobile platforms might sound restrictive, a mobile-first strategy has advantages. Strategising and programming for the device with the most limitations first will force you into a mindset of making telecom help service interactions less taxing. Smaller screens, lower-powered processors, and other constraints will force you to eliminate bad user experience and establish a baseline where everything has to work responsively and intuitively, and if you don’t have a million dollar service assurance budget, that’s an opportunity.

If you’re starting up, build mobile-first into your entire business plan. Any software or website development costs money and takes time, and programming for every possible platform and device can be exponentially more expensive if you decide to roll out your desktop site for the popular telco solutions. Mobile-first will give you an overall service convergence strategy that will not only result in a better user experience, but save money as it can be done cohesively without reinventing the wheel every time.