Delivering Excellent Customer Service through Mobile Apps

Guest Post by Joanna Jones of Impact Learning Systems We know that mobile is here to stay, at least until the next big disrupter comes along. Until then, mobile devices are dominating how consumers shop, search, educate and connect. As the trend continues away from computers, companies have an opportunity to develop, from the ground up, customer-service strategies for mobile devices. The good news is that when creating CR solutions that are tailored to mobile, companies have the opportunity to create platforms that are well thought out and customized to how users expect to interact with a brand or product. The bad news is that many companies have approached mobile as an afterthought, often leaving customers frustrated. Even if your company hasn't invested in developing its mobile strategies, there are now more options and products that can help turn your mobile platform into a robust and seamless experience to enhance customer service delivery. While there is no shortage of options available for managing mobile apps, two points to consider when creating strategies for mobile management: 1. As more consumers migrate to mobile, how they connect and interact with a brand or product is rapidly changing. With more self-service options, the contact center is under immense pressure to evolve to meet the demands of the more complex types of inquiries. Cloud technologies allow companies to be more nimble and responsive to the customer, in addition to being more affordable than traditionally operated centers. 2. Customers expect more from mobile than is currently offered by companies. Omni-channel service will continue to gain traction and importance to offer consumers a seamless experience. As turbulent as all these changes are within the industry, customer service that is personalized, responsive, friendly and authentic will continue to be a company's most important tool in customer engagement that fosters loyalty. Since we know that mobile devices will be the primary way that consumers connect with brands and products, let's look at how customer service can be integrated throughout mobile platforms so customers have a net positive experience.

  • Self-Service with an Easy Out--Customers increasingly prefer self-service options. They are more comfortable handling more complex tasks and even making bigger purchases (think vehicles and sofas!) online. Self-service is an easy and cost-effective way for companies to satisfy customers, but many companies fail to maximize this important feature. While companies are getting better at offering self-service features, they are often not linked with easy and navigable ways for customers to connect with an agent. Mobile apps that allow customers to self-serve but provide an easy way to connect with a live agent, or request a call-back, are important CR features that minimize frustration.
  • Social Media--Social media is an integral part of the customer service experience. If your organization hasn't yet dedicated experienced staff to monitor and engage with customers through the various social media outlets, now is a good time to consider adding such positions. There are myriad management tools to help companies manage their social media presence, so don't let the idea of social media being overwhelming daunt you. Consumers spend a lot of time on multiple social media sites using their mobile devices. For companies, it's a great way to broadcast information, engage with customers in a less formal environment, exchange knowledge, and allow for consumers to make purchases with new shopping features embedded within social media sites.
  • In-App Customer Care--Probably one of the more important features of a strong mobile presence is being able to provide quick and responsive service in real-time. In a study released by Contact Solutions, it was found that 25 percent of shoppers who had to leave a mobile app in order to receive help were unlikely to make a purchase at all with that brand or product. In addition, the study found that 23 percent of users made purchases based on in-app recommendations. Here's the kicker as to why in-app care is so important, more than 80 percent of respondents said they've required help while interacting with an app and 50 percent said they "actively dislike" having to leave an app to get help. Again, there are plenty of tools available to companies to manage their mobile presence, and knowing what is important to customers is key to helping pick the right product.
While technology continues to influence the way customer service is delivered, there is still a human element that remains critical to ensuring positive customer experiences. Training contact center agents to better handle more complex queries or training social media teams on the best and most effective ways to deliver customer service remains important. As technology dominates our lives, the human connection becomes more important. Companies have fewer opportunities to directly interact with the consumer, so ensuring that customer-facing employees are trained for today's environment is critical. There is no reason companies can't find success through mobile apps. The environment surrounding mobile usage has stabilized to the point where there a lot of tools and products available to companies to easily manage their mobile platforms. When the right tools are chosen to help manage a company's mobile presence, combined with proper training for customer-facing employees, a company can position itself to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Joanna Jones is a professional copywriter and marketing strategist who has partnered with Impact Learning Systems for five years. As a marketing professional, Joanna works closely with customer service teams and helps companies improve their B2B and B2C communications and strategy.

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