I had a “mobile moment” last night.

I had slacked on my Netflix queue maintenance, so we ended up with a copy of Bridesmaids rather than the next set of episodes of Modern Family.  As my husband and I sat in front of the TV desperately trying to find something else to watch, I decided fixing the Netflix queue was an urgent task.  With my MacBook Air on my lap and my iPhone sitting next to me, I found myself pausing to pick a device.

Usually, given the choice, I’ll use my laptop for practically anything other than texting or phone calling, assuming I have both devices within reach.  I’ve always maintained my Netflix account via my computer.  Last night, though, I broke habit and reached for my phone, wondering if Netflix had a mobile app that would help me. It just seemed like moving things around in my queue was a perfectly suited task for my iPhone.  As it turned out, Netflix’s iPhone application was useless.  I could not find my queue in it.  I also couldn’t find my favorite TV show with searches of “Modern” or “Family”.

I was still struck by my new inclination.  I have several applications on my phone that win out over their online counterparts.  Amazon, Chase Bank and American Airline offer mobile apps that I use as much or more than their websites.  These applications offer very quick access to information and additional features (e.g. searching by snapping a UPC code, online deposits or boarding passes).  These companies have significantly increased my customer loyalty because of their awesome apps.  Netflix lost some of my loyalty last night.

Meanwhile, I’ve talked with several companies recently who are abandoning their mobile strategies, thinking mobile is just one method of information delivery or customer interaction.  I get the logic, but I fear that these companies will overlook the importance of mobile if they consider it another method to provide the same functionality.  Plus, many companies still tend to look at mobile last, after all their online applications.

These companies are missing a huge opportunity to use mobility as a differentiator and build customer loyalty.  It will only become more impactful as more people have mobile moments like I did last night.