Mobile-First: The Only Way to Talk to Customers

example of mobile-first screen

I was getting ready to write a blog about “Mobile-First,” because I had a hunch that mobile phones are everywhere. Well, I cannot claim it is a hunch any longer because when you look around everybody has a mobile phone and more specifically a smartphone. So, I started doing some research and the data blew me away. Between the ages of 19 and 49, 94% of this population in the USA have smartphones. 

Yes, that number is 94%! (1)

Well if that is the case, wouldn’t rational logic dictate that we start by making sure every digital interaction is mobile-friendly? It makes sense as mobile communications lead all other forms of communication. I ask you honestly, as dealer principals, owners, general managers, and service directors, how many of you have gone to your website and tried to perform the functions that you need to perform as a consumer to buy a car or schedule service for your car, or get a tow truck for your car? I think you would be very surprised. And not in a good sort of way!

Everybody goes to their smartphone from time to time and looks at their website to see how it behaves or to answer a question. But one of the big interaction points most people forget, that is initiated from the mobile phone, is texting. Text communications have become prevalent. So, it’s not good enough to just have websites that are mobile responsive, they also need to be communications friendly.

Yes, mobile websites have to be communications friendly including all forms of mobile communications and texting communications!  Mobile-first web design is vital.

By that I mean you should be able to text or call from any page on the website, and the text/call has to be intelligently routed depending on which page you are on. The text (because you know the phone number of the mobile phone) should be routed to the right person, depending on whether or not that individual has some sort of an issue open. If a person calls it should be routed to the right person that is currently handling their case. Although, based on our experience, if you made texting truly easy and intelligent on your mobile website, your call volume would drop significantly!

I propose a very simple measure. If you do this exercise honestly and get 80% or higher you are on the right path. Even if there is scope for improvement you would have a mobile-first-friendly site that users would like to use.

mobile-first website test

Additionally, you can add dimensions like “Easy to Find,” and “Clarity of page,” but for now I think this is a good starting point. 

Each measure is given 1 point and the ability to call is given a 50% weightage, as consumers do not really like to call because they are too busy to be “put on hold.”

If you are below 80%, please call in your webmaster and get to work!

For some of you who may not know what a “responsive” web page is, please look at the images below as an example. One shows how it appears on a desktop, the other on a mobile device. The same mobile webpage when viewed on a desktop shows up in landscape mode and fills a large monitor. However, it will also sense a mobile device and reformat itself to portrait mode and stack the text and images on top of each other for easy readability:


Desktop view compared to mobile-first


Mobile view of mobile-first

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