A bit of empathy goes far. Let’s start with a mobile contextual moment of truth. What does that mean? In the simplest of terms, it means that in order to be relevant to you, your device needs awareness of you and your life.
We know that replicating a desktop experience on a mobile device doesn’t work. There are limitations – form, network speed, and interface, to name a few. Customers expect to interact with brands that have made themselves accessible via devices that are immediately to hand. What they want is a ‘Mobile First’ approach to the technology they use.
A mobile device is already personal, right? What about something you wear? Is that more personal? Just as we’ve got a handle on what meaningful mobile interaction feels like, the goal posts are shifting again. The constant clamor, buzz, beep and ring of the iPhone/Android will soon be replaced by something all together more subtle. Imagine that instead of taking something out of your pocket when you hear that buzz, you’ll feel a gentle tap on your wrist when an important item needs attention. This might seem like a small change, but ultimately it’ll be as significant as the move to mobile.
I don’t have a citation to support this view. I left my crystal ball on the train last week, but as I see it, it’s all about the nature of interaction and the fact that people are, well, people. The issue we have as marketers and service providers is that unless we are delivering the right message/service at the right time, we are simply noise, or, worse, a disruption. Wearable tech such as Android Wear and the Apple watch is an opportunity to increase relevance to the customer. But there are expectations that need to be met. You want space on my arm? You’ll bloody well need to earn it! Make it about me, make it simple and then keep it relevant.
Making your business relevant in the mobile or wearable world should be straightforward. It starts with an understanding of human nature. You don’t need to be a psychologist, but you do need to be an organization that has empathy. Let’s call it, ‘Digital Empathy‘ #digipathy (you heard it here first). Digipathy is about experiencing the journey your customer takes with you – but from their frame of reference. To do this you need an understanding of your customer, as a group and at a personal level:
- What is the journey they are on with your brand?
- How are you supporting that through design and technology?
- How can you make it better?
To understand these things, you need interaction that’s based on an ongoing relationship, rather than on transactions. As a customer, the one thing I know right now is: I might give you space on my watch, but I own the relationship, and I’ll tell you how it works from now on.