My first attempt at using a mobile boarding pass was back in December 2008 with Continental Airlines. I was flying from Cleveland, OH to San Francisco, CA. I used a PC to log in and opted to use a mobile boarding pass rather than print a boarding pass. I used a URL sent to my Gmail account to open up a web page with the boarding pass on my iPhone.
The boarding pass was easy to get on the cell phone, but hard to use in the airport because the right technology, processes and ground crew education were not in place. A mobile strategy can't stop with the design of the mobile component only - there must also be consideration and design of the processes and education for the folks interacting with the cell phone technology in the physical location.
Here is an account of what happened at the airport:
I walked up to the counter to check first if the mobile boarding pass would work. I didn't have confidence. The agent looked at me and in the most polite, kind manner said, "Honey, you need a printed boarding pass to get on that plane." I smiled as she printed out a boarding pass for me, and I thanked her for her help.
I proceeded to the security line. My phone is timed to turn off every 60 seconds. Each time I it turns off, I need to enter a security code for it to turn on. So, as I moved through the security line juggling my bags, laptop, etc., I kept tapping my phone to keep the screen lit.
First, there are several people using the mobile boarding pass - all carrying around thick, smartphone-esque devices with large color screens. Walked up to the TSA agent checking ID's. She had a machine. I just waved my cell phone in front of the scanner, and my information popped up on a single, monochrome text line. She cross-referenced with my ID, and I was on my way. Easy.
I was watching TV with my grandmother in Colo, IA (population is under 1000 people) last weekend when a locally made TV commercial came on TV advertising mobile coupons at the local grocer - Dahl's. The channel was either ESPN or one of the local networks - I don't remember, but my grandmother only watches the news, sports, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune so we weren't too far down the cable long tail. Most of you probably have Tivo (or DVR) and speed past these locally made commercials - or all commercials. The commercial was reminiscent of one from local car dealers.
Anyway, I couldn't believe that they were advertising coupons on cell phones. I went to their web site, and there was a promotion to join Dahl's Mobile Club. I clicked on the link and was taken to a local radio/TV station web site that read more like a news site sponsored by Dahl's. A banner ad on that page took me to a page where I could enter my phone number and carrier. They advised me that I would receive about one text message per week with a special offer.
The coupons are being powered by Vesta Mobile Solutions. They are based in Baltimore, MD so Dahl's 12 locations in central Iowa are a bit far from home. I'm definitely curious to hear how mobile coupons are going for Dahl's. With the adoption rate so low overall, one doesn't typically imagine much uptake - if Dahl's has numbers anywhere near the national average, their real numbers would be small. However, they are advertising on TV - first I've seen so hopefully this is driving higher adoption levels for them. That is a higher level of commitment than we see from most implementing mobile coupons -
Forrester’s first ever Customer Experience Forum kicks-off exactly one month from today, on June 22. The theme for the forum this year is “The Customer Experience Journey: Keeping Momentum In A Downturn.” I’m thrilled to be part of this wonderful event that will include executive speakers from big-name companies such as USAA, Virgin America, Symantec, Vanguard, New York Times and more.
We've been teaching our 25-criteria methodology for ten years (we've updated it six times during that period) to cliients who want a method for identifying problems in value, navigation, presentation and trust on their sites. But during this recession, clients told us they wanted something even more focused - shorter, quicker, cheaper, easier to do.
Here at Forrester we continue to see a lot of industry excitement around mobile marketing. In a recent survey more than 60% of mobile marketers told us they'd continue to increase their spending on the channel despite the bad economy. And according to our latest ad forecast, mobile marketing spending in the US will more than quintuple over the next five years.
There's just one problem: SMS is the only mass-reach mobile marketing channel, and no one -- not marketers, and certainly not users -- seems to like it much.
Welcome to Forrester's newest blog - My colleagues and I will use this space to share our thoughts and engage in dialogue with you about customer experience. We want you to participate by posting comments, challenging our ideas and sharing your opinions.