If you’re involved in the customer service industry, by now you’ve heard a ton about Amazon’s amazing new Mayday service. You have probably heard about the similar “SOS” service now offered by Salesforce. You may have also experienced some of the mobile apps that have true integration with the call center (like USAA, GroupAMA, or this credit union.)
When you saw those examples, you may have thought to yourself, “Our customers aren’t asking for that, so we’ll take a look at it next year.” Or you may have thought, “That’s fine for bleeding edge companies like Amazon, but my company doesn’t have those kind of resources.”
I’d like to challenge both of those positions right now.
Mobile is the Consumer’s Primary Choice
Let’s start with the mindset of today’s customer. Gartner’s Michael Maoz, Research Vice President, recently said,
The mobile channel is emerging as the consumer’s primary choice for all possible service activity with service providers. The use of the mobile channel will accelerate once customers realize that their needs will always be met through this touch point. Complementing mobile self-service with assisted-service is a natural and required evolution of the mobile channel.
In short, your customers have already made the transition. The only question is, will you adjust to their new preferences, or let your competitors do it first?
Some Stats to Put that in Context
- 535 million consumers worldwide will make a purchase this year on a mobile device. (Source: Goldman Sachs)
- Mobile ecommerce sales worldwide are projected to be $626 billion by 2018. (Source: Goldman Sachs)
- A BILLION consumers will have smartphones by 2016. (US consumer’s alone will have 257m.) (Source: “Mobile is The New Face of Engagement” by Forrester)
- 75% of consumers think companies should make answers to all their common questions available via smartphones. (Source: Synthetix)
- 70% of shoppers remain mobile-ready, even when they are inside a store. (Source:Usablenet)
It Doesn’t Have to be Expensive
Now let’s tackle that other misplaced thought: that adding proper customer service features to your mobile app will require huge investment. Building a customer service app is easier than ever! Tools like Adobe PhoneGap or Verivo’s Akula make it easy to build advanced, full-featured mobile apps. Products like Fonolo’s Web Call-Backs (formerly Visual IVR) let you bridge the gap between your app and your call center by adding a simple self-contained component. This video shows just how easy it was for one company to do exactly that.