Deployment of Mobile Self-Service Apps by Enterprises Key to Customer Service Excellence
With the increased usage of smartphones in the region, companies can enhance customer experience through deployment of mobile self-service applications
December 20, 2012 2:17 by Colin_Saldanha
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 20th December, 2012: Middle East businesses tend to look at customer service as a cost to the company when in reality its contribution to overall customer satisfaction is paramount. It is a well known fact that it costs a company five times as much to win a new customer than to keep a current one. Providing frustration free support services and resolving customer complaints in the most efficient possible manner can play a significant role in this retention.
Beyond the bounds of a direct help line, Middle Eastern businesses have now begun to ramp up their online services. For instance, banks and financial services firms commonly provide account access via a mobile device. Retailers promote special offers. Insurance companies allow customers to file claims. Not surprisingly however, these organizations, which are so keen to connect with the modern customer through these new channels, often completely overlook the customer service aspect and use their online presence to provide little more than a list of frequently asked questions, which could miss the target of the customer’s inquiry and does not offer immediate resolution.
The rapid advance of smartphones and the development of mobile apps have given consumers newfound freedom and convenience. For businesses, this new mobile approach has opened a new avenue for communicating with customers and provides a way to serve customers better and faster and form stronger and more lasting relationships – if done correctly. Many organizations however are struggling to determine how best to use these new tools to their advantage, and provide their customers with a capability that works well and adds value.
To realize the full potential of mobile apps for self-service, businesses must make a fundamental shift in their orientations and attitudes, focusing on the customer’s needs and providing capabilities to help them do what they want to do rather than trying to deter them from calling service agents. It is essential that these apps make full use of the advanced features of smartphones and tablets, particularly the touch screen, display and selection techniques, and location intelligence, to enhance the customer experience.
The Importance of Integration
Shaheen Haque, Territory Manager, Middle East & Turkey at Interactive Intelligence says that in the contact center, the key to excelling at customer service is to integrate all customer touch points. When the customer calls, agents have access to all information regarding that customer and what they’ve been through, allowing the agent to help resolve the issue quickly, and the customer is spared from having to repeat the same information over and over again. The contact center industry has been perfecting those techniques for decades; however, the mobile revolution has thrown a new element into the mix. However, as people become more attached to the mobile lifestyle, it will be critically important to integrate the mobile experience successfully with the rest of the customer support plan.
The real leap forward will come in how the app interfaces with the contact center to provide relationship-enhancing customer service. When a customer who is using the app encounters an issue, the app should automatically interact with the contact center. However, it shouldn’t just place a call. The entire history of the customer’s session on the app should be forwarded to the contact center. At that point, the contact center can place the customer in a virtual queue and send the customer a notice of when an agent will call them. There are no wasted cell minutes, and the customer can have the option of scheduling the callback to a more convenient time.
The app’s integration to the contact center means that there is no need to go through a lengthy query and response session with the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to categorize the call. The contact center agent – and the business – knows what the customer is calling about. With the session history in hand, the agent can conduct their analysis without having the customer on the line.
Business Benefits of Customer Service Apps
A study conducted by Ventana Research on behalf of Interactive Intelligence reports that the original purpose of self-service systems – the avoidance of calls to customer service personnel – may be realized through the deployment of apps designed to keep the user in mind and advance use of companies’ information and systems. For the contact center, they can contribute to improvement of several key performance metrics, such as average interaction-handling time and first-contact-resolution rate. By providing a simpler, more effective way for customers to interact with the company, these apps can improve customer effort scores and net promoter scores thereby helping companies finally achieve the goals they sought through the deployment of self-service.
To cater to the mobile customer, companies need to deploy a complete mobile platform that allows them to build constant improvement into customer service capabilities, to differentiate their offerings and result in stronger customer bonds. Customers are going mobile and they’re going social, but they still expect an exemplary service experience. This is where customer service needs to be.
About Interactive Intelligence
Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of contact center automation, unified communications, and business process automation software and services. The company’s unified IP business communications solutions, which can be deployed on-premises or via the cloud, are ideal for industries such as financial services, insurance, outsourcers, collections, and utilities. Interactive Intelligence was founded in 1994 and has more than 5,000 customers worldwide. The company is among Forbes Magazine’s 2011 Best Small Companies in America and Software Magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Global Software and Service Providers. It employs approximately 1,400 people and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company has offices throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Interactive Intelligence can be reached at +1 317.872.3000 or [email protected]; on the Net: www.inin.com.
Product Information Contact:
Mr. Shaheen Haque
Turkey & Middle East Territory Manager
Interactive Intelligence Middle East
Direct phone: +971(4) 4347217
Mobile: +971 (50) 4573186
Email: [email protected]