Earlier this week, ridesharing innovator Uber announced that it has partnered with nearly a dozen companies to allow users to directly order rides from within their apps. If a user is in the parent app of any of Uber’s selected partners, including OpenTable, Starbucks, and United Airlines, they can directly order a ride without having to close the existing app and then open the Uber app. “Uber” brilliant idea, isn’t it?This sort of original, integrated solution is an excellent example of mobile engagement. It creates an exceptionally seamless brand experience and the potential for increased customer satisfaction for the ridesharing company. By creating an extra level of convenience for customers and potential customers, Uber is greatly increasing the odds that it will win app users’ “mobile moments,” which are critical make or break opportunities for customer engagement.
In today’s tech savvy world, mobile moments are won or lost depending on whether a user can get what they want, when they want it. We often talk about the “fractured experience” customers suffer through when they need assistance, but have to stop what they’re doing, close their app, and call an 800 number to contact customer service. The Uber partnerships avoid a similar situation for customers and provide a quick, convenient solution that increases engagement without fracturing the magic of the moment.
I fully expect this added convenience for the customer to translate into growth for Uber. While it may not seem like such a big deal to close one app and open another to get something done, saving a few seconds and a few screen taps isn’t the driver here (get it?) It’s about creating an experience that fits the mobile lifestyle, where expectations are driven by a cognitive need for instant access to everything. When you have a consumer’s attention, you simply don’t want to create any hurdle that would jeopardize it. And for Uber, avoiding the need to close one app and open another is a very smart move.
It’s a smart move for Uber’s partners, too. From their perspective, this is about seizing that mobile moment as well, because it removes one more barrier to solving a customer’s problem (I need a ride!) while keeping that customer engaged with their brand. The partner benefits as much as Uber, because in the mind of the customer, the experience was essentially effortless. And this is a great example of how you don’t have to do everything yourself if you want to seize a mobile moment. If you start from the perspective of the customer, a wide range of opportunities for mobile engagement will present themselves.