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.”
Why Was Mobile Care Forgotten?
Most Smartphone apps are not truly aligned to provide superior customer care. In fact many are not very “smart” at all when it comes to customer service. In most cases, if you need to speak with someone in the enterprise, you encounter a few speed dial buttons. And each one dumps you into a generic ACD queue. And then you go to a generic operator who then must ask you what you want and then transfer you to the correct skill group. Now that just ain’t right. You logged in to the app. They have your credentials. They should know what you want by your click stream. Why create more channel confusion by chucking you into a generic queue?
And what about feedback? Some apps let you fill out a quickie survey, but most don’t. Even fewer actually treat your feedback as a chance to interact. That is to say, the “care” part is missing. Why don’t the enterprises take advantage of the fact that they already have a contact center and pipe the sentiment in so it can be responded to in close-to-real-time?
What about standard communications such as chat or private messages? Most enterprise Smartphone apps require that you dump out of the app to send a message, or pick up messages. Why? Why do I have to go jumping around opening up all kinds of other apps – creating channel confusion – when all I want to do is send along text of some kind – or get an answer? And why are coupons or other personalized offers relegated to email or a separate channel and not piped-in to your enterprise Smartphone app?
The list goes on. But the point is most enterprise Smartphone apps are woefully devoid of true customer care attributes. There are ways to overcome these problems, but you may need a little help…