Should you launch a mobile customer service app?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mobile is rapidly becoming the channel of choice for customer support. According to a survey conducted by Software Advice, 63% of consumers in the United States contact brands through their smartphones several times a month. However, it seems that brands cannot satisfy customers’ expectations regarding mobile customer service.

According to the same survey, a whopping 90% of mobile users had poor experiences while seeking customer support through their smartphones. As an attempt to address this, a growing number of businesses are now launching customer care apps, which would allow them to connect more easily with their customers. But should you jump into this trend, too?

If you’re still undecided, check out the following pros and cons of developing your own mobile app for customer support.

1.   Easier data transmission

Mobile apps are a great platform from which to gather customer information, such as account number, name, date of birth, and other details that would come in useful in two ways. One is for faster processing of transactions such as purchases, product requests, or reservations. The other is for smoother customer service. Using mobile app-derived information, agents can quickly gather the customer data they need to resolve issues and complaints.

2.   A step toward multichannel customer service

Mobile customer service apps allow users to personalize their experience in an organized and efficient manner. Customers can use the app to choose which mode of communication they prefer: email, web chat, SMS, social media, in-app messaging, or voice calls. This will allow companies to build a multichannel call center based on the preferences of their customers.

3.   Access to self-service resources

Recurring complaints and long call queues are a nightmare for call center agents. Ineffective management can lead to agents performing poorly and more customers getting frustrated. Companies can minimize these issues by incorporating self-service resources, such as manuals, FAQ sheets, and links to instructional videos, into a mobile customer service app.

1.   Limited to those who downloaded the app

When you’re talking to angry customers, directing them to download the app first to resolve the issue is the last thing they’d want to hear from you. In these cases, what customers want is a fast solution, and making extra downloads is just another burden preventing them from enjoying your products or services.

Aside from this, the customers you can reach via mobile app will be limited only to your loyal followers. Needless to say, introducing your mobile-based customer channel to new customers can be challenging.

2.   Annoying push notifications

Push notifications can be useful from time to time. You can make announcements or advertise a product, and your customers will immediately be notified. But they can quickly get annoyed, too. It’s best to limit your notifications to really important tips and updates if you don’t want customers uninstalling your app.

3.   Constant updates and improvements

Having a mobile customer service app would require a team of specialists who regularly checks and develops updates to enhance the app’s functions and features. This might entail bigger costs and additional responsibilities.

Having a mobile customer care app is an effective way to reach out to your customers, most of whom are using their smartphones to contact their brands’ customer service team. By creating your own app, you’re making it easy for customers to reach you, but you need to watch out for possible drawbacks that can be costlier if left unaddressed.