New mobile strategies within insurance, banking and telco are picking up speed, and while these verticals are at different maturity stages, all three stand to make huge returns from their investments. Below is a list of techniques and technologies that top brands are using to enhance their mobile strategies in a rapidly changing consumer landscape.

1) Insurance Focuses on Concierge-Style Apps, Push Alerts and Preventative Knowledge

Currently, most insurance companies “…are offering a growing range of mobile functionality that helps customers in their sales and service mobile moments by letting them get quotes, file claims, pay bills, and save documents,” states Forrester in their report “The State of Mobile Insurance, 2015: Landscape: The Mobile Insurance Playbook.” This is a progression within the industry, but most analysts feel there is much more room for improvement in the vertical.

An area where improvements can be made is the adoption of mobile-specific products and services. For example, “Berkshire Hathaway’s airCare product and app aims to overhaul customer experience of travel. The app uses flight data to alert customers to any delays; customer services representatives help them rearrange their travel and automatically pay any claims due to lost luggage or missed connections.” This app, which is centred on offering concierge-style service, is one of the many innovative ways that digital teams are expanding customer service to mobile. More importantly, it shows a shift towards creating new services for mobile jet-setters, a demographic that, several years ago, was not on many people’s radars.

Many brands are also working on providing relevant information to customers via mobile to help them avoid accidents. Specifically, with real-time capabilities, insurance companies are now able to send customers text (SMS) push notifications. These notifications can update customers on pertinent information such as extreme weather warnings and traffic incidents, in addition to general insurance reminders such as contract renewals or service related notifications.

2) Banking Goes Beyond Transactions and Into Service, Sales and Overall Efficiency

Not too long ago, transactional payments via mobile were revolutionary. Nowadays, however, they are standard—meaning that customers are now looking to other areas of customer service and experience on mobile for that real ‘wow’ factor. So, while many brands are good at P2P money transfers or mobile billing payments, “Many banks are falling short in two categories: service features, and marketing and sales. For instance, 38 out of the 41 banks we reviewed offer no app-wide search whatsoever on their smartphone apps. Similarly, the majority of the banks we reviewed offer little to no cross-selling or product research tools to mobile banking users interested in additional products or services,” states Forrester in their 2015 Global Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark report.

Efficiency and ease of use are also important focuses for leading banks’ mobile strategies. That’s why many of the biggest brands are starting to answer the question: “Is there a better way to do this?” even with their most basic mobile capabilities. For instance, many customers find it frustrating to enter their password for basic banking tasks like viewing balances, so to make the process easier, top banks are implementing mobile apps that allow customers to view their balances without having to enter their password. For example, “France’s BnP Paribas lets customers quickly view their balances by double-tapping a customisable image of themselves on the mobile app landing screen before login.”

3) Telecommunications Embraces Over-the-Top Services and Texting

The telecommunications industry has the unique position of providing consumers with the mobile network and capabilities they desire, while also attempting to enhance their customer experience through this same channel. Bearing this in mind, customers have high expectations when it comes to the mobile initiatives of their mobile providers—and rightly so.

Currently, many companies are experiencing tremendous success with texting (SMS) service notifications and feedback solutions, with some achieving a 48% average response rate for their feedback requests, a rate that is up to 8 times higher than that of e-mail.

Texting works because of its ability to target customers during relevant moments. For example, texts can reach customers right after they’ve had an interaction at a brick or mortar location. Depending on their experience (perhaps very good or very poor) at this location, they have an immediate gateway that lets them communicate with their brand and express their elation or disappointment—right away. The speed and relevance of this interaction achieves an outcome that email and phone just cannot surpass.

Texts are also seen as less intrusive, so customers can simply ignore them should they find them inconvenient, versus phone calls which can take more of their time and are now seen as louder and more interruptive to a person’s day. More obviously, a telco that texts is simply showcasing one of its best features—not doing so is akin to a cable company not having TV ads.

Other brands are focusing on improving customer experience through Over-the-Top Services (OTTs) such as instant messaging platforms. With the rise of instant messaging world-wide via social media platforms and apps such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and WeChat, top telcos are making sure that customers can reach them using these methods.

From offering dedicated Facebook Messenger channel assistance to investing in more social media staff for the oversight and communication across all platforms, these companies are simply engaging with individuals on the platforms they already use on a daily basis. The trick, however, will not be to start using OTTs, but will be to develop guidelines and service strategies that ensure consistency, accuracy and timeliness of the experience. Brands want to be personal, but not invasive; professional but not outdated; aware of customer’s past and current needs or problems, but not voyeuristic. Monitoring the success rates of these initiatives will also take some experimenting, but when developed, will likely reveal fascinating results.

Regardless of the uncertainties, it’s pretty clear that OTTs will soon be a must-have for most telcos at the forefront of customer service.

Learn more about mobile’s dominance in CX in our blog: “Big Brands Take on Mobile as Its Global Reach Expands.”