Today’s multi-channel consumer has a very different mindset regarding expectations for customer service compared to a few short years ago – mainly due to the rise in Smartphones and tablet ownership, which has fundamentally changed the way we research and buy products and services.
The rapid increase in ownership of Internet connected devices has significantly altered the way that we communicate, not only with family and friends but also with businesses.
Talking face to face or on the phone are no longer the most common ways for us to interact with each other. Text messaging, social media sites and other online forms of communication like games consoles and connected TV’s, are reducing the need for us us to actively talk to each other – and the ease and speed at which we can connect, increases our expectancy for a similarly quick and easy way to resolve customer service issues online – without having to actively ‘speak’ to anyone.
With the average UK household now having 6 Internet connected devices, offering customers the same level of customer service across multiple channels has never been more important. However research from ICMI showed that despite 43% of customer service professionals saying their company know that mobile customer service is a priority, only 25% actually reported having a strategy in place.
Can you afford not to have a mobile customer service strategy in place?
New data from IMRG and Capgemini shows that mobile was responsible for the total 15% year-over-year ecommerce growth rate, with tablets responsible for 85% of these sales. Whilst tablets are the main devices used for mobile sales, sales via Smartphones witnessed an increase of 210% over the same period.
Market research firm eMarketer predicts that by 2017 tablets will become a mass-market device, with more than half of the UK population regularly using one. Whilst the bulk of tablet owners are in the 25-54 age range, this age bracket is expected to extend significantly with the introduction of more affordable devices, as retail brands like Tesco and Argos launch more competitively priced alternatives.
So, if your customers are actively buying via mobile channels – shouldn’t you be providing them with a mobile customer service?
Key factors for improving mobile customer service:
Mobile is no longer just a support channel that businesses can afford to ignore – it’s a key and rapidly growing channel in its own right and should be part of a multi-channel customer service offering.
Implementing online customer service solutions like a web self-service knowledge-base, will reduce the need for them to escalate to other channels to resolve customer service issues. And just like in-store, if one-to-one support is required, why not offer them the same support as you would in your retail branch – connect them to a member of staff via live chat.
Giving customers the opportunity to easily navigate and self-serve timely and accurate answers to their questions online is crucial, as today’s customer expects to receive the same level of service on their mobile devices as they would via a website on their PC or in-store – without having to change channels mid transaction.
It is important however, when extending this service to mobile, to consider the following points:
- Touch friendly – optimize your content with a large touch-friendly interface that’s easy to read.
- Minimise key presses – make navigation easier by simplifying the journey and reducing the number of key presses required.
- Mobile specific answers – condense the content of information given to make it clear and concise for the smaller screen.
- Review and improve constantly – use a mechanism for customer feedback to allow you to revise and improve service constantly.
- Seamless channel escalation – offer customers the ability to escalate their enquiry via live chat or e-mail to enable them to resolve their issue without changing channels.
- Consistency – deploy a central knowledge-base across all of your customer contact channels, ensuring consistent information is provided via the web, mobile, social, e-mail or contact centre agents.
Businesses need to adopt an ‘anytime, anywhere’ approach towards customer service, as today’s mobile shopper wants to be able to find information and resolve service issues quickly and easily – so offer them the consistent multi-channel service they now expect!
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