The Google Connected Consumer Study of 2017¹ makes for fascinating reading. And the way in which the data is presented for ease of use and clarity (to anyone interested to use it) is a testimony to the digital awareness and data-driven business approach used by Google.

Amongst a number of interesting findings, the connected device graph shown below for South Africa clarified a recent customer mishap that hit close to home for me.

My mother-in-law had a dismal experience with her bank, (one of the major ones in town), when the bank upgraded its online banking capability, including the mobile app which links to a customer’s elected device.

Suddenly, my mom was unable to do her banking business on her iPad, the only device she uses for this activity, due to the fact that the mobile app had not been upgraded to work with the latest OSx. My guess is that the bank decided they could postpone the release of the necessary device software, given the low percentage of users connecting from a tablet

The biggest fail of this entire story is the fact that the bank’s support team, which was put in place to sort out these teething issues with the upgrade, did not know about the issue with the software. It took a few visits to the bank and several hours for my mom and a couple of support personnel to come to the realisation that the software was not available for the iPad (running on the latest OSx).

Every digital business’s first commandment should be “Know thy customer!” If you don’t know your customer, you won’t know how they connect or how difficult they find it to converse with the English-speaking support desk or how quickly your business has alienated him or her and what the impact will be.

Information, as provided by the Google study, allows the digital business to measure itself against the realities of digitalisation in the target market. It also gives you material for planning for future tactics.

However, treat statistics carefully and understand the scenarios that may play out when you select a course of action based on the stats. Never forget the omnipresence of the connected consumer!

Your stats may show only a 4% potential impact, but the fallout caused by the 4% may be immeasurable.