Don’t Sink your Mobile E-commerce Experience by Sending Customers to an IVR

Call Center | 2 minute read

Fig 1 Growth of Mobile E-CommerceThe battle for e-commerce market share will be won or lost on the mobile app. In 2012, 11% of all e-commerce sales were through mobile, according to eMarketer. That number was only 8% the previous year and is forecasted to be 15% in 2013.

Many retailers are seeing great success through their mobile apps. At Gilt Groupe, for example, mobile now accounts for 30% of overall sales, up from 5% a year ago. When asked in a recent interview about the future of mobile e-commerce, Gilt’s chairman, Susan Lynne answered bluntly: “It’s going to continue to just crush it”.

What features elevate a decent mobile commerce app into a great one? If we follow the trends of recent data, it’s all about customer service. Too many mobile apps drop the ball in this department by having a “contact us” page that does nothing more than display a phone number. Thus, forcing a customer who needs to speak to an agent to “start over”. Chances are, he’ll put his phone back in his pocket and your sales opportunity is gone – a preventable risk that can be remedied by connecting your call center to your mobile app.

Don’t Make Customers Start Over

Listing a phone number on your mobile app’s ‘contact us page’ is a huge let down to your customer. What’s going to happen when the customer taps that number? A cold greeting from your IVR, that’s what. You’ve wasted a perfect chance to either accelerate a sale or streamline customer service. The image below shows 3 leaders in mobile commerce (Gilt Groupe, and HauteLook) all making this mistake.

Fig 2 -Three Bad Mobile AppsIf your customer hits a dead-end with his journey on your mobile app, and needs to talk to an agent, that’s a very vulnerable stage in the sales process. Keep the momentum going by assuring him that he can pick-up the conversation with an agent without starting over.

Inability to Connect with an Agent is a Leading Complaint

A recent study conducted by Adcom surveyed mobile app users. The study focused on financial apps, which are among the most popular in use today (over 50% of those surveyed use them). 70% of respondents complained about problems they experienced, and 80% said they want to request customer assistance from within the app they are using. While this study was focused on the financial sector, it’s safe to assume that apps from other categories would yield similar results.

This problem is not hard to fix!

Your mobile app needs the ability to let your customer connect with a live agent conversation when needed, and the ability to make that transition while maintaining the context of what was going on. Ideally, the customer should be able to connect with the agent without dealing with phone menus or waiting on hold.

The good news is that it’s not hard to make that happen. Fonolo can be easily added to your mobile app and will handle the connection with your existing call center. In fact, 1st United Services Credit Union added this exact functionality to their mobile app using Fonolo and they didn’t have to change anything in their call center. The images below show how Web Call-Backs (formerly Visual IVR) and virtual queuing features were added.

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