Accelerating Digital Initiatives

Better Customer Service through Mobile Apps

consumer_service_blogTo put the issue of customer service and mobile apps into context, let’s take a look at some of the trends and data points that make customer service apps a strategic priority.

1. Mobile now represents almost 2 out of 3 digital media minutes spent, and mobile apps alone now constitute a majority.

If ever there was any doubt about the dominance of apps, no more.   Apps dominate.   End of discussion.   While this data from comScore shows that there is also an increase in mobile web and desktop-based consumption of digital media, it is dwarfed by the growth in time spent on apps.

Omni-channel thinking is sensible, but within that thinking, mobile apps need to become the kingpin for customer engagement.   If you’re going to prioritize your customer engagement channels, mobile app development and improvement needs to be at the top of your list.   Enterprises need to get past the old-fashioned thinking and the systems that go with it.   It doesn’t mean you can dump of all your call centers now because the kids don’t like using them.     But it does mean that non-mobile channels will decrease in importance year by year — and that means there is still a lot of re-prioritizing and re-aligning work that enterprises need to execute now.

2. Weak mobile customer service is harming customer engagement, according to Gartner, Inc.

This statement from Gartner in 2015 is telling.  They go on to say “No rallying principle in the enterprise matters more than the creation of superior customer engagement and IT leaders will need to innovate in engaging customers on all channels and have the metrics to choose the right projects.

Mobile has quickly come to dominate digital media usage and enterprises are still playing catch up.   Nonetheless, it is disappointing that this is the case.   The rising dominance of mobile has taken no-one by surprise – we have known that this has been happening for years.   So why the delay in getting this right?

3. “Fully engaged” customers deliver a 23% premium over the average customer in share of wallet, profitability and revenue

If there is any doubt about what is at stake here, look at the numbers.   Greater engagement with customers means a real, tangible improvement to the bottom line.   When you look at this in the context of the dominance of mobile app usage, there can be no doubt that engaging customers through high quality mobile apps will have a tangible, positive commercial benefit to your organization.

4. Engaged customers deliver three times the value to the brand over the course of a year

And just to hammer the point home, another study shows that engaged consumers buy in greater volumes and with greater frequency.   According to research, engaged consumers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and are five times more likely to indicate it is the only brand they would purchase in the future.

5. Inbound customer service and support requests via mobile apps will increase 38% in the next 12—18 months.

This is not altogether a surprise.   In fact this stat even looks a little on the low side.   Suffice to say that support requests will be increasing substantially through the mobile app channel in the coming months and years.   What this shows is the volume increase of mobile-generated customer service requests.   It does not explain the hidden volume of customer service requests that won’t be necessary if a customer service app does its job well.

And that is a key point.   One of the most loved brands by Millennials is Amazon.   It just works.   How often do you chat with a customer service person at Amazon?   Somewhere between never and hardly ever, I would imagine.   But that not a negative as far as your love of a brand goes.   Quite the opposite.   The fact that you rarely have to communicate with someone from Amazon, because it just works, is a huge plus.

Bringing this all together, there is a very clear picture here.   Engaged customers are more profitable, mobile apps are dominant and enterprises are harming their customer relationships with poor mobile customer service.   If this isn’t a rallying cry to make high-quality customer-facing apps the priority for 2016, I don’t know what is.

Decades of apparent improvements to customer service technologies and processes have seemingly not improved customers’ frustration with poor customer service through traditional channels, especially call centers.   Mobile is not just one more channel to think about.   It is the channel to prioritize.

The beauty of a well-designed and well-integrated mobile app is that good quality customer service can be baked into the design.   I don’t qualify as a Millennial, but I stand side-by-side with digital natives that want a few taps on a smartphone versus a 15-minute wait on a phone while a recorded voice tells me that my call is important to them.

2016 can be a turning point for mobile customer service if enough enterprises prioritize the right kind of customer-facing mobility investments.   I want to live in a world where technology just works and works for the customer.

Get in touch with us to see how we can help you deliver your mobile strategy and enterprise apps that will delight and engage your customers.

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