By Edwin Margulies
(Part III of III)
Surprisingly most enterprise Smartphone apps have no real, inherent feedback loop. No way to tell how well you did on the last interaction from inside the app. The problem with this is that sentiment can fester if not treated. And this goes beyond simple surveying. I am talking about actually responding to sentiment, not just allowing for feedback. The trick is to respond and offer care before the sentiment goes viral. In-app sentiment feedback solves this problem because your are first able to capture relevant sentiment and then pipe it in real time to customer care agents.
There are several benefits to this approach. First, there is a link between customer loyalty and retention and sentiment feedback. Second, a real time sentiment feedback solution is kind of a “social early warning system.” In other words, you have first crack at responding and trying to help a customer before the issue gets posted on Facebook or Twitter or a blog.
By Edwin Margulies
(Part I of III)
Sadly, the majority of Smartphone apps were built quickly to fulfill the “cool” mandate. Versions 1.0 rarely scratch the surface of customer care and provide only the fundamentals like checking balances or looking up credits. So what’s the problem? Well the fact that most enterprise Smartphone apps are built in a silo creates channel confusion (phone vs. web vs. chat vs. SMS) and can create more problems than they solve.
Do You Know What Your App Is Doing?
I often ask customer care practitioners if they really know what their Smartphone app is doing. For example, is there a likelihood that chances for cross-sell are getting blocked? Or chances for retention of an angry customer falling away? How about the “contact us” page? Is it nothing more than a speed dial? Can customers communicate with you without having to dump out of the app and go to a discrete communication channel? All of these questions and more are often answered with a knowing nod: “Yes it’s a mess and we have to figure out how to make it better.” Continue reading
By Michael Haisten
Enterprises that decide to offer a callback option enable their customers to avoid quite possibly the most frustrating problem with call centers, excessive hold times. In cases where the callback option is presented via the company’s website or mobile application, customers are also able to skip navigating an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, another frequent source of frustration. By allowing customers to choose whether they want to wait on hold or receive a callback at a convenient time, enterprises are providing a sense of empowerment which results in increased levels of satisfaction and loyalty.
On the other hand, the enterprise is able to more evenly spread its demand throughout the day. Agent productivity and service levels are improved by shifting calls from busy periods to the slowest periods. Idle time in the call center is reduced. Callbacks also reduce the number of abandoned calls which can increase sales and revenue.
So how is callback technology best implemented? Here are some rules of thumb, many of which are slightly modified concepts from regular inbound calls. Continue reading
By Joseph Katz
When you’ve spent as much time in the contact center space as I have, it tends to shape your thinking just a bit. For example, whenever the topic of Customer Experience Management comes up, I automatically think of customer service.
I realize that customer experience (or CX as it’s known) has been an area of heightened interest in recent years for the very reason that it does not limit itself to one particular area. To understand things from a customer’s perspective, you have to look at everything from which way the doors open at the local branch to the color of the envelope used to send the monthly bill.
The forest from the trees
Most companies nowadays have someone who heads up Customer Experience; I can think of a few companies who have a whole team of these folks. I’m always fascinated by these individuals because of their attention to detail and their ability to see things through the eyes of a customer. Most of us lose that view of the “forest” simply by living in and amongst the “trees” for too long.
By Sarah Rolfing
Today, when it comes to customer service, we all know who is calling the shots. Customers are loosing patience quicker and becoming less forgiving when they encounter a poor customer service experience. The 2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer shows that “over half (55%) of consumers have intended to conduct a business transaction or make a purchase, but decided not to based on a poor service experience.” Deciding when, where, and how they want service, the average customer’s service expectations, compared to a decade ago, have skyrocketed.
We can attribute much of the shift in customer service expectations to the smartphone and its precious app offspring. Apps, apps, and more apps! They entertain, teach, narrate our lives, inform, and most importantly, help us. A 2012 study by ClickFox found that “over 78 percent of consumers surveyed use mobile apps for customer service purposes such as billing, account status/updates and interactive chat.” The same study revealed, “over 90 percent of respondents would replace some or all traditional customer service channels with a mobile app if available.” Continue reading
By Edwin Margulies
(Part II of III)
Make it Private
Another way to supercharge mobile applications is to establish a private communication channel to the enterprise for customer service. Not SMS – that’s not private the way it is handed-off between aggregator and cell phone provider servers. And you also have to interrupt the application you are using to get to a separate communication application. The smart alternative is to simply drop-in a communication module into your smart phone app.
This has many uses, such as the ability to do simple push notifications that will allow the user to launch or flip over to your app and provide a chat or messaging tab with a status update in it. For example, a flight status update, a service order update, a delivery status update. The possibilities are endless.
Now imagine being able to send messages to your customers via your own Smartphone application and offering a two-way private channel into your contact center. These communications can be set up using IM/Chat protocols such as XMPP – complete with presence and other goodies such as rich media support. The good news is you don’t have to build these capabilities from scratch. You can get drop-in java and ObjectiveC code that hooks you up to the network that does all the heavy lifting.
By Edwin Margulies
(Part I of III)
Mobile apps are evolving. And the thrill for practitioners of customer service is they are becoming more service-aware. At first, Smartphone apps were mere stripped-down web sites. But now, the Smartphone modality shows great potential for taking a front seat in customer care.
So what’s missing?
What’s missing from most customer-facing enterprise mobile care applications is real collaboration. That is concierge services, feedback loops, and even private, secure communications.