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The customer is always right

A few weeks back, a colleague in our events department asked about expanding the audience for our Modern Mobility seminar series. Like in this e-zine, most of the seminar’s content focuses on business-to-employee (B2E) mobility initiatives. Would it be possible to also cover business-to-customer (B2C) mobility, my colleague wondered, or would that mean a total content overhaul?

It wouldn’t require many changes at all, I told her. Most of the principles that guide B2E mobility also apply in a B2C setting. Providing a strong user experience, balancing security with usability and effectively delivering applications are the main tenets mobility managers must follow, regardless of who their audiences are. If anything, meeting these objectives is even more important in B2C scenarios.

If a technology vendor designs and develops a cumbersome, bug-infested app for its sales staff, those employees will get frustrated. They’ll stop doing work in the app and find a more user-friendly alternative, like Salesforce. The company wastes time and money building the app, and productivity declines as employees struggle to use the app and search for a suitable replacement.

The same goes for B2C. If an online retailer designs and develops a cumbersome, bug-infested shopping app, its customers will get frustrated and find another company to do business with. Not only does the retailer waste time and money, it loses sales—a potentially catastrophic outcome.

I’m certainly not the first to say this, but it bears repeating: In the mobile era, your employees are your customers. And as the old saying goes, the customer is always right. Your employees don’t have to rely on the tools you provide anymore. If there’s something better out there, they’ll find it—and it’s your bottom line that will suffer.

This post originally appeared in the July/August issue of the Modern Mobility e-zine.