Mobile self-service – don’t keep your customers on hold


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According to a poll by TIME Mobility, 84% of people cannot go a day without checking their mobile phone. In fact, it has become such a part of everyday life that people find it hard to live without a mobile phone, since technology has become more like a relationship and a necessity to survive in today’s digitally connected world.

As a result, more and more consumers are using their mobile phones and tablets exclusively to access online searches for products and services. And it’s no surprise that we’ve come to expect the vast majority of customer service interaction to happen in an online environment. It makes financial sense to invest in web self-service to allow customers to self-serve the majority of information themselves easing both customer and contact centre stress levels.

But many organisations have been slow in their mobile online customer service response, unaware of implications to their customer service delivery. Should access to web self-service not be mobile friendly – a dedicated responsive in design for mobile or tablet viewing – customers are likely to get frustrated, give up or resort to more costly channels to resolve their query.

A recent study by Software Advice Inc. of a sample of 100, business-to-consumer, Fortune 500 companies report that:

  • 60% of customers will call a company if the website is inconvenient.
  • Of the 40% who don’t call, some customers simply abandon the company altogether.
  • 63% of the sampled companies have an effective form of self-service with a whopping 87% having a mobile-friendly site.

It’s clear from this report that the bigger players – the 100 of the Fortune 500 companies sampled – have strong customer service strategies in place with the majority having mobile self-service available. Those that lacked an identifiable FAQ or searchable knowledge base, had the nature of the business often dictating the information included on their mobile website.

But what about the rest of the business world, especially those companies who have not advanced their mobile offering? What can businesses do to ensure their customers have a smooth, enjoyable experience when visiting their site via mobile device?

Evaluate web traffic

With more and more customers using mobile devices to access websites, many industries will see a drastic rise in traffic from mobile sources. Should a company not have a mobile-friendly site, there’s a good chance that they are under-serving a high percentage of their customers.

Consider responsive design

The smaller screens of mobile devices will intensify issues such as small text and poor site navigation, making it more likely that a customer will give up, rather than continuing to search or if a customer reaches the point where they pick up the phone, chances are they’re already dissatisfied.

An attractive benefit of responsive design is that changes to a company’s main website will automatically reflect when viewing it on a mobile device.

Consider going mobile

An independent mobile site can be a good short term solution for meeting the needs of your mobile website visitors as some companies might not be ready to commit to a redesign of their current website to be responsive.

One thing remains clear. Customers want and expect online self-service on multiple devices, 24/7 and implementing the right customer service technology to meet these requirements consistently across all channels is pivotal to attracting new, and retaining existing customers.

A multi-channel service strategy should be top of the agenda of any business offering online customer service.

Source: Study bySoftware Advice Inc. of a sample of 100, business-to-consumer, Fortune 500 companies.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Neldi Rautenbach
Marketing is my passion, delivering great user experiences my poetry. Marketing Manager for a top web self service vendor, Synthetix - we create customer service solutions that engage audiences via the web, mobile phones and social networks - reducing inbound e-mail and voice traffic to your call-centre by at least 25%.


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