Is There an App for That? Tailoring Customer Service for Mobile Devices


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Did you hear? You can get whatever you want, whenever you want it – wherever you are! The ever increasing popularity of smart phones and tablets is putting increasing pressure on service and support centers to respond in real-time to customer requests. The concept of business hours and waiting periods has been kicked to the curb by the new generation of fast-paced, always-connected consumers.

What’s Your App?

Customers are getting very familiar with using mobile applications as a customer service channel. For the consumer there are next to no downsides. A “brand-in-hand” application offers immediate access to account information, customer support and product and service options.

Mobility computing is where the access to IT capabilities no longer occurs through traditional desktop machines that are loaded with processing power, memory, storage, and are tethered to the corporate network. Instead, users expect to access IT capabilities from any location and from a myriad of devices, large and small. TSIA partner PWC has observed that companies need to migrate from “email cultures” to “app cultures.” If you stop to think about that simple concept, the ramifications are immense. The explosion of smart mobile devices and “apps” is forcing technology solution providers to rethink everything from solution design to security to price points for solutions. Tom Lah, Technology Services Industry Association

Industry experts are predicting a dramatic increase in mobile application use in 2012 for customer service and support. To increase and maintain customer satisfaction levels companies will need to be proactive in assisting customers via their chosen mode of communication.

“Resolving customer complaints and concerns is critical to customer retention and engagement,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force Information. “Happy customers produce the gift that keeps on giving. They buy more. They tell their friends. They return more frequently. But, a few unhappy customers can undo all of your great work.”

In many aspects, providing world-class customer service is the only differentiator a company may have from its competitors. The use of mobile devices and smart phones will only continue to increase and will advance the speed at which companies need to adopt new processes and procedures.

The challenge is to prepare front-line staff for these changes. Arm them with product and service knowledge and technical and soft skills training. Mobile communication will lower the cost per interaction and will enable agents to deliver more timely and more personalized service to customers.

Smart phones, tablets, and call center applications will all improve. With the introduction of the iPhone, Apple changed the way business happens by creating software development kits and useful Web browsers for smart phones and tablets. This allows businesses to create mobile applications for call centers. These applications can be cloud-based applications so agents can access and update their CRM solutions or customer records from any computer with Internet access. Angie Reed, Product Marketing Manager, Digium

Get App Happy

Which option sounds better to you? Waiting in a lengthy IVR queue or pressing a button on your smart phone to send a quick message? I know which option I’m choosing. Customer service and support is evolving – make sure you and your company are not left in the dark ages.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rachel Miller
Rachel Miller is the Customer Engagement Manager at Nimble - a simple, affordable social relationship manager.


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