The desire to please customers continues to rank as a top priority for service organizations. Poor service affects the perception of your brand and your bottom line. According to a survey from American Express, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction because of a poor service experience. Now, when consumers have a bad experience they’re not just telling one or two friends, they’re telling hundreds and thousands of followers. In the social media era, news of bad customer service reaches twice as many ears as praise for a good experience.
Category Archives: Mobile
Last week’s webinar drew record crowds, and for good reason: it was focused on a very compelling case study. Fonolo was recently deployed by 1st United Services Credit Union across three channels (mobile, web and direct dial) with terrific results. How terrific? The improved calling experience delivered enough incremental revenue in the first 60 days to cover the annual Fonolo license!
So you can see now why this would be a crowd-pleaser: Multi-channel communication, improved customer experience, revenue lift, visual IVR, virtual queuing, mobile customer service, iPhone and Android apps… basically every hot trend in the industry today.
During the webinar, I talked about an “API vs. Component” approach and that drew quite a few questions. Since we didn’t have time to answer them all, I’ll expand on that topic here.
Like Fonolo, Andrew Maher is on a mission to improve customer service. His blog, Service Please, covers a wide range of topics that help companies understand why customers are complaining and highlights excellent solutions to help improve customer service.
Congratulations to Andrew on his first successful video blog!
Below is a text snippet from Andrew’s interview with Shai and a link to the video.
Mobile apps have become must-have components for companies in the financial space. Most large and mid-size banks already have very full-featured mobile apps. But, sadly, many of them drop the ball when it comes to connecting with a live agent. Their “Contact Us” page does nothing more than display a phone number. This forces a customer who needs to speak to an agent to start over. What if that customer was about to apply for a loan? Chances are, he’ll put his phone back in his pocket and that revenue opportunity is gone. That risk can be remedied by having a smarter connection to the call center.
That’s exactly what 1st United Services Credit Union did with the latest update of its iPhone app. The app’s “Contact Us” section, powered by Fonolo, lets their customers reach an agent with one tap — no phone menus, no waiting on hold.
Web 2.0 may have given consumers more control, but Forester states that it’s “the access and convenience of mobile apps and devices that shifts more power from institutions to individuals than did the PC or the Web.” Ultimately, the impact of the digital age has affected the influence of consumer power and will continue to ripple through in the future.
A whopping 91% of smartphone users keep their devices within arm’s reach, 24/7, so it’s no surprise that more consumers are exploring the capabilities with mobile apps. However, it’s not just about having an app available, but ensuring it’s created with the customer in mind.
Consumers prefer apps for many different reasons. Based on a Nuance report, their motives are as follows:
- 45% say it’s more convenient
- 40% say it’s always available
- 25% say I don’t want to wait on hold to get help
- 20% say it’s more personal
- 16% say I prefer not to talk to a person for some issues
As of March 2012, the majority of mobile phones in the US were smartphones. One result of this growth is that the smartphone is becoming the first choice for communication, beating out land lines, desktop computers and notebooks (especially true among younger consumers).
So we’re left to wonder, how will smartphones drive the future of the call center experience?
Ovum stated that,
by 2016 36% of inbound customer service calls will be made from smartphones
This presents an opportunity for service leaders to drive their company’s mobile strategy by creating or redesigning the smartphone experience. The benefits are endless – your organization is positioned as a thought leader, your customers enjoy the ultimate experience and your call center relishes in the new efficiencies.
In October 2012, 1st United Services Credit Union started using Fonolo. By adding Fonolo to its website, 1st USCU empowered their members to connect to call center agents with just one click – no phone menus and no waiting on hold. Fonolo’s visual interface simplifies reaching 1st USCU for callers while its secure, cloud-based services make the process seamless for call center agents.
After a few months of getting acquainted with the Fonolo web widget, Mark shares with us some insight to the process, deployment and the reaction from his members.
With smartphone penetration surpassing the 50% mark within the US, it’s safe to say that these addictive devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Universally employed for both personal and professional purposes, they have quickly become a key channel for how we communicate with one another – and the companies we do business with.
Fonolo reached a great milestone last week when our customer, 1st United Services Credit Union, released a new iPhone app. The app’s “Contact Us” section includes Fonolo’s interface which lets their customers reach an agent with one tap — no phone menus, no waiting on hold.
What makes this deployment special? This credit union is also using Fonolo’s widget on their website AND using our In-Call Rescue service for callers who dial-in directly. So this is the first time Fonolo is being used on all three channels. You could call it a call-back “hat trick”, or a virtual queuing “triple play”. Whatever you call it, this is the future of the call center.
Want to learn more?
Watch this on-demand webinar, where the VP of Member Services at 1st USCU will join us to discuss the implementation of and early results from this ground-breaking deployment.
- Smartphone adoption rates and the impact on call centers
- How to use virtual queuing and visual IVR to replace hold-time with a call-back
- Tools to enhance your mobile apps with click-to-call
- Tips for lowering your handle times and improving the customer experience
- Case study with an industry leader: How 1st United Services Credit Union seized this opportunity to offer a great customer service experience.
We held a terrific webinar last week (over 200 attendees!) titled “Top 5 Call Center Trends of 2013”. During the part about “Intelligent Call-back” (one of the top trends), we received several questions about how Fonolo compares to Virtual Hold. I asked Shai to elaborate on some of his answers during the webinar.
Q: How does Fonolo compare with Virtual Hold?
Shai: Both Fonolo and Virtual Hold provide the functionality of replacing hold time with a call-back which is what we call, generically, “virtual queuing”. The concept has been around for decades, but is now gaining renewed interest because of rising consumer expectations. Continue reading →