Phones Come First

Could this report from The Feature be a small indicator that mobile companies are becoming a little more attentive to the needs of their customers? I think it is possible, but I have yet to see much of this attentiveness in the states, yet.

While problems of compatibility, interoperability and pricing continue to dog the progress of mobile data services, evidence is mounting that technology alone is not entirely to blame for sluggish adoption rates. In fact, it’s the customer experience — and the way operators market it — that requires the most improvement.

Some operators are getting the message and taking more responsibility for the user experience. But O2 in the UK has gone one better. Its informal “Walk Out Working” campaign not only trains customers to use the phones they buy; it makes sure they can use mobile data services when they leave the shop. What’s more, O2 follows up with a few well-targeted free alerts and images to further whet user appetite for still more mobile data content and ultimately promote viral marketing and sharing between users.

Laurence Alexander, the CEO of O2 Online, revealed in December that this approach, and the launch of several new MMS-based services including a talent search for England’s next supermodel, has allowed O2 to report an overall “marked” increase in mobile data services adoption. It reports upwards of “600,000 MMS alerts delivered to users on a weekly basis.”

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