As discussed in a previous blog post, customer experience needs to be at the heart of your mobile strategy in 2012.

With online forums, comment boxes online and the growing number of brands with a social media presence, a customer has more ways than ever before to vent their frustrations following a poor online customer experience.

What’s more, a customer who has a poor experience online using a mobile device can use the very same device to log on to Facebook or Twitter and tell their entire network of friends and family about the poor mobile online experience they encountered.

App rankings

When it comes to mobile apps, customers have another powerful tool at their fingertips. They can publicly indicate dissatisfaction by simply posting a low ranking in an app store or marketplace.

But, unlike complaints posted on blogs or on Twitter, negative app reviews can translate very directly into a lost opportunity as they usually dictate your ranking in the store itself.

And, if you slip out of the treasured top 25 list, it could drastically affect downloads of the app itself. So if your app has poor ratings because of negative customer experiences it will become buried, leaving an open door for competitors to swoop in.

Staying on top of the mobile app experience

Businesses with an online and mobile presence have to act fast to keep ahead of competitors. The first step is to truly understand the mobile customer experience and the typical struggles they face when using an app or mobile site.  

Identify the pain points in your mobile application, which devices it accommodates, and where your app works and where it doesn’t.

Understanding and preventing failure in these areas will eliminate the frustration your customers will have when they need your app the most, whether it’s making last-minute reservations from a train, purchasing groceries while on the bus, or buying tickets on the way to the cinema instead of standing in a queue.

Customer expectations are higher than ever before

A Harris Interactive survey, commissioned by Tealeaf, showed that 75% of consumers believe there is no excuse for mobile transactions failing to complete on first attempt.

Today’s tech savvy consumers expect a seamless multichannel and multi-device experience, whether they are browsing on a mobile app, visiting a mobile website to carry out a price comparison or using a mobile device to research an all-important purchase while on the move.

Consumers have thrown down the gauntlet and 2012’s mobile commerce success stories will come from businesses that understand the typical struggles customers face using apps and take steps to deliver a seamless, error free customer experience, whatever device a consumer is using.