Are You Serving Your Mobile Customers?

<< back Page 2 of 3 next >>

are fracturing the experience. In the customer care industry, companies that are building technology around mobile are thinking of mobile as just another channel coming into the contact center. They need to weave together all the channels with social media, phone, and Web inside the contact center for the enterprise to get a complete view of their customer, he says.

"The brand experience you are creating in the app is fractured when contact customer care causes you to leave the app," McShea says. "It also turns your smartphone into a dumb phone. It is also what we call a forced channel switch [e.g., from mobile app to email or phone call]. This is a big customer experience dissatisfier, and invariably causes you to repeat information because the channels are not connected."

Reed relates a frustrating experience of trying to make a purchase using a mobile app. While in the process, she suddenly received a message that she needed to use a desktop system to proceed. She clicked on a support button and was prompted to either call or send an email to proceed, yet there were no links. "Research from Forrester and other analysts show that customers want to 'stay on the glass' when they need assistance," she says. "They don't want to be forced off the device when they need support."

Miller also believes that stand-alone apps create silos, but over the past 18 months, it has become clear that to have a multichannel or omnichannel strategy means bringing apps into the fold.

"It's a known challenge to orchestrate a seamless experience whether customers are coming in [to the contact center] through a traditional phone, mobile phone, or Web site, so there are definitely investments being made in enterprise infrastructure software or the cloud," he says. "The cloud makes it even more possible to provide an integrated customer experience."

Mobile Apps Get Personal

Delivering a personalized experience is key. If a customer has already provided your company with information about his wants or needs, that information should be put to good use.

"Customers all have a starting place preference," Reed says. "Am I a voice person? Twitter? [Do I use] self-help videos? And then from there, if I have to be moved or transitioned to someplace else, or escalated due to my issue, keep me on the device. Keep the transaction seamless, because I, the customer, don't know, care, or understand that all the channels in your center operate in silos or with different agents."

Personalization is making the interactions easier for the customer, McShea says. As an example, he says that if a customer calls into a company and is asked if he wants to speak with someone in Spanish, perhaps by the third or fourth time that person calls, the company should already know that the customer doesn't speak Spanish.

"It's about using the information the customer has provided you with to deliver the most effortless experience for them," McShea says. "For example, for customers using a mobile app, what they were just doing, what they were trying to do, should tell the agent what they might need so that the agent can anticipate that and have the information about what the customer needs. That is another form of personalization. It's about using all the things you should know about what the customer needs to solve the problem with as little effort [as possible] on their part."

The Future Looks Bright

Reed believes that the mobile device has literally changed the way that contact centers operate. Not long ago, customer service conversations were considered private and were handled in private places.

"Now, because of the mobile device, we have those private conversations in very public places. We have those conversations everywhere," she says. "That's one reason why mobile keeps us evolving and adding channels, as many of those conversations are best had 'quietly' or through nonvoice channels. Mobile is validating the usefulness of chat, SMS, IM, social, video and, in many cases, email. Mobile will continue to change the way customers reach customer support, want customer support, and expect customer support. The most interesting part? We don't yet know what mobile will bring next, it evolves that fast."

"For the enterprise, it's usually the lowest cost channel for providing care for the customer" McShea says. "For the customer, it's the most convenient and quickest, easiest way to solve their problems if done well. We believe that mobile will not just dominate over voice but even Web, social media, and other channels."

<< back Page 2 of 3 next >>

Related Articles

The company's mobile app is turning heads in the fast-food industry.

Posted April 17, 2015

Apps that provide support are becoming essential across industries.

Posted September 18, 2015

A Q&A with Aircall founder Olivier Pailhes, whose solution enables the mobile customer service agent.

Posted September 25, 2015

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, companies expect more transactions to occur through mobile devices. Last year, mobile commerce accounted for 22.56 percent of online sales in November and December, and 27.91 percent of Black Friday sales, according to the 2014 IBM Experience One U.S. Retail Online Holiday Shopping Recap Report. This year, the number will likely surpass 30 percent, and as mobile secures its position as a key channel for online retail, retailers should consider stepping up their mobile customer support.

Posted November 13, 2015

Thanks to social media, customer reviews, and other tools that give consumers the power to shape brand dialogues, companies have had to improve how they deliver service. Increasingly, expectations for customer service are extending beyond traditional call center and support experiences to include in-store support, delivery, and product consultation. According to a recent report from Constellation Research, five trends are shifting power to retail consumers. These trends have key implications for brands.

Posted December 04, 2015