You’ve worked out how your customer feels about you. Either they want to spend hours gazing into your mobile app or they’re here for a good time (but not a long one). How do you construct your mobile app or website accordingly?

Joe Brasacchio, Technology Lead, and Stephen Cheshire, UX Principal, from PwC’s Digital Services talk about taking the next step in your customer relationship, and how the most successful love affair comes from embracing user behaviour.

Listen to the podcast using the player below or subscribe to the Digital Pulse Podcast on iTunes. A written transcript of the audio is also included below.


Joe Brasacchio:  In our last podcast, we discussed the differences between native apps and websites (responsive websites, which we also frame as web apps).  And we covered off particular topics around relationships that you want with your customers and how to best achieve that relationship, using either a website or whether you are using a native app.

In this podcast we’re looking to better understand how to enhance that relationship using those different approaches, whether you’re using the website or whether you’re using the native app – and how you can best enhance that relationship to accommodate what that client’s looking to do.

Steve Cheshire: That’s right, Joe. Let’s take the example of the committed relationship. If you recall from our last podcast, our hypothesis is that when a customer has a long-term relationship with a company, they’re prepared to download an app. Really, that provides that organisation the opportunity to engage more meaningfully with that customer but, like any relationship, you’ve got to actually work at it.

Let’s take the public transport example that we used in the last podcast. Most public transport providers around the world allow their customers to look at the timetable of when their tram, train or ferry is going to turn up. Really, that might be exciting at the beginning of the relationship, but when the tram or the train or the ferry doesn’t turn up, and that organisation hasn’t told me about that, it gets a little bit boring pretty quickly.

So the opportunity here that the public transport companies have, is to understand what my needs are in this relationship.  For example, I swipe to get into the train station every day on my commute to work and I swipe out of the train station every day when I’ve reached my destination. I travel on roughly the same trains every day. The public transport company has this information. If they were going to cancel a train that I would regularly catch, the least thing they could do is tell me, so that I can plan my day around that.

The public transport company actually has an opportunity through that service failure to progress and enhance my relationship by telling me about it before I make my way down to the train station, so that I can make other plans.  That makes me feel better about the public transport company and it actually enhances my relationship… and it’s something that’s more than possible through a mobile app.

Joe: You’re talking about listening, essentially. The public transport company has the ability to listen to what you’re doing, your interactions and where you’re at, which will enhance that committed relationship insofar as they could reach out to you via a notification. It could allow you to better plan your day and improve your relationship with that public transport company because you’ve downloaded their native app and they’re listening – but it’s a matter of what they’re doing with that information.

Steve: Yeah, I think just to take the analogy further – like any good relationship, it’s one thing to listen but it’s another thing to hear what that person is saying to you. That’s where public transport companies are probably not taking advantage of that opportunity through technology right now.

Joe:  So what about if we had a less committed relationship. Particularly, with the example you used about shopping for a pendant light, from the previous podcast, Steve?

Steve:  As with any casual relationship, the nature of the relationship is possibly short and so when somebody is buying something from you as a one-off, that customer is going to play the field. They’re going to compare their options and there are lots of places that they could do that.

For example, people share products on Facebook and Instagram. They pin products to boards on Pinterest, so you have to build a website, a mobile optimised website or a responsive website that allows people to take those products, do that sharing and do that pinning.  Because that’s the nature of how people compare products and it’s also the nature of how people find products.  Embrace the fact that you have casual relationships with your customers and use the right technology, the web technology, to allow them to share your products with other people and build your business.

Joe: In summary, we’re looking at having these different types of relationships facilitated by different technical techniques of how you embrace that customer experience. Using a native app we’re going to deliver more of a connected experience, in using a mobile web app or a mobile site or a website it’s more of a casual relationship, but you’re facilitating the content and you are making your site more casual, more sociable, so that it can connect to other ecosystems like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.



Joe Brasacchio

Joe Brasacchio is the project and product director at PwC’s Intunity Digital Solutions.

More About Joe Brasacchio


Stephen Cheshire

Stephen Cheshire was a director in PwC’s Digital Services.

More About Stephen Cheshire