Ten Rules for Supporting Clients on Mobile
Clients today are increasingly using their phones for tasks they once did on computers, like web browsing and email. Whether you are an adviser to individuals or a consultant to business clients, it’s important to be aware of the rules of the road to give awesome client service on mobile.
10. Fill out forms for your clients wherever possible.
This is a no-brainer. If you already have your client’s address, business name, and other details, fill out the form for them. Don’t even worry about tools unless you actually need to collect something you don’t know.
9. Phones are not for talking, unless they call you.
This obviously depends on the generation, but many of us find phone calls to be annoying and disruptive. I personally prefer to schedule calls, unless they are genuinely urgent. Obviously this varies by individual but if your client doesn’t call you and doesn’t leave voicemails for you, take the hint. Email, text, Slack or Skype them.
8. Embrace constraints
Phone screens are small and can’t fit everything you might wish to write. 99% of the time this a very good thing. Say less, ask less and focus on what’s important. You’d be surprised at what you can convey in a decent sized email or text.
7. Fill out your own forms on mobile.
Do you use web forms? Make sure you test out the form yourself. For example, when running an accounting practice, I really liked Google Forms because they sync with Google sheets. This is great for me as the business owner. Problem is, a lot of form fields got cut off on users’ phones. So I switched to the Weebly form on my own website because it’s mobile optimized. This made the data management more work for me, but the experience faster for my clients. The advisor should always be doing more work.
6. Use their tools of choice.
One of the first things you should ask your clients is how they work and how they like to communicate. If possible, use the tools they are already comfortable with. If you like Slack and they are using Google Hangouts, use Google Hangouts just for them. Please don’t tell them your choice is better because I guarantee what they’re using is just fine. Why? Because they say so.
5. Be a cheerleader for their brand.
Your clients like attention. Find out where they go online and where they would like to go online, and follow, like, support and engage them. Social platforms are at the head of pack when it comes to mobile design and function, so the right platform can really enhance your connection to clients on mobile.
4. Remember who works for whom
It seems so obvious that a person who is a paid advisor should do the work for the one paying, but technology sometimes leads to rudeness. Say I’m paying you to do my taxes. You should not send me a pdf, ask me to print it, fill it out, sign it scan it and fax(?!) it. You should ideally complete the form for me. Barring that, you should provide a form I can complete on my phone. Barring that, a form I can complete online (for example an editable pdf). Then for a signature, you should use Docusign or a free version (I like the Hello Sign extension in Google Docs).
(A note for worriers: If security is an issue, remember whose security is at stake. As long as you can cover your ethical and liability requirements, if your client is comfortable with email, don’t make them fax you.)
3. Reduce friction
Friction means work. Everything I have to do to complete a task. If you ask me to download something, that’s friction, install an app, register an app, all friction. Just as if you were designing software, when choosing software, pick tools that require the least work from your client.
2. Only use apps that play well with others
You and your clients will be using some of the same tools but you will also be using lots of software that is specific to your industry or interests. Try to always pick solutions that have an open, robust API environment so that your data can connect to as many other platforms as possible.
- Attachments are for a$$!*les!
This is why I started Augl. I commute on the train every day and often have a couple minutes waiting at my son’s after-school care. I love to use this time for my email but when someone sends me an attachment, it just doesn’t work. Nearly 2/3s of email is opened on mobile. Attached pdfs, spreadsheets and documents are a bad idea on these devices, which is to say attachments are a bad idea. Don’t do it!
Ultimately the only rule you need is the Golden Rule: Do unto your clients as you would have them do unto you.* Are you busy, scattered, and looking for every possible way to reduce your workload? Then you probably understand exactly how your clients feel. Use this information to give them helpful, thoughtful service.
Interested in getting tools to support your own business on mobile? We’re launching Augl soon, a new way to report and collect data on mobile. Join our beta list!
*Fun Fact: We named Augl after the “Gold” (Au) in “Golden Rule”.