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 Edwin Margulies
(Part III of III)
I don’t know too many people that enjoy “taking a survey” at the end of a call center transaction or even in a pop-up window on a web site. Yet more and more, people nonetheless want to broadcast their sentiment. Take all the tweets and Facebook posts on brands and products. Those are “democratic” or at least “free market” forms of feedback. And social feedback is on your customers’ terms.
So what about harnessing the trend towards sentiment feedback and taking the bold step of putting it right in your mobile phone application? Yes that would mean encouraging customers – with standard icons – to make mention of a customer service experience they just had with your firm. 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.