Think Outside the App: A Great Experience Begins With the Customer

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Think Outside the App: A Great Experience Begins With the Customer

A Thought Leadership Advertorial from Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert)

Smartphones, tablets, mobile information consumption, and mobile transacting. It’s why more businesses are trying to develop the kind of mobile apps they believe their customers want. Yet with an estimated two-thirds of mobile customers needing to interact with a contact center agent at some point in the mobile service experience, there’s often an abrupt disconnect.

The reason? Most mobile apps aren’t integrated back to the business’s customer service operation, and for mobile users, the ability to get live service while actually in the app is non existent.

This fundamental divide leaves mobile customers to triage via an email form or a website and an endless list of phone numbers. Worse is that the contact center is blind to a mobile customer’s incoming issue, since there is no app-associated context to accompany that customer’s request for live service. So whether through email, phone call, or chat, a contact center agent is bound to treat the “mobile” service request no differently from any other interaction that comes in.

To deliver on the mobile customer experience in its entirety, mobile customer service solutions must link the self-service experience with live assistance seamlessly. The organization as a whole must become fully customer-centric and digitally dexterous. And for both mobile and traditional forms of customer service, there must be a single platform infrastructure to develop and deploy apps that are more intelligent.

Multichannel… and integrated

A single platform infrastructure must further provide scalability, flexibility, and security — PCI (News - Alert), HIPAA, and other similar guidelines. More vital to live assistance is the infrastructure’s integration to the contact center and multichannel options like callback, click-to-call, text chat, video call, and a mobile customer’s interaction history. The customer’s context comes from available information an organization already has in existing systems. Systems can be CRM systems, issue tracking solutions, product catalogs, systems of record (claims management, loan origination, and so on), custom databases, cloud resources such as Salesforce, and process automation and content management systems. Webhooks technology enables integration of mobile apps with these internal systems, allowing access to any customer data an app must provide, and presenting the contact center agent with complete information about the customer.

Using an integrated platform to deploy and manage a mobile app additionally extends functionality directly to mobile users and the organization. Because all transactions and interactions go through the platform, the organization can use the platform to record these interactions and present the contextual data to agents, seamlessly. If and when a customer needs more help and decides to switch channels, the agent has an instant holistic view of the customer through the organization’s fulfillment and servicing systems.

More than just a mobile web app

Especially for what mobile customers really want, an app must be more than merely a mobile web app. It must be a native application developed for a specific mobile operating system or social website, purpose-built and branded for the organization. It must be a full services app with a fixed set of features, designed to support customers along with business partners and employees. Once the app is published, it must be easy to download and deploy by all users. This unified approach to mobile customer service leads to a seamless mobile experience while simultaneously reducing operational costs.

What does a seamless “mobile to service center” experience look like?

When mobile users can choose to interact with the contact center using their preferred method — call-back, click-to-call, text chat, or video call — agents can provide more effective service and optimize the mobile user’s time. Once the interaction is started, agents are armed with the customer’s contextual information, and are empowered to link the mobile customer to the service center. The full context of the customer’s mobile interaction carries over seamlessly — name, contact info, customer detail, mobile app info, GPS, everything.

Because the mobile customer experience begins with the customer and carries through the mobile app they use, their experience becomes more satisfying.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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