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How to Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience via Mobile

Today's consumers rely on the mobile web and apps to find answers. Your brand must harness the power of mobile to provide the sophisticated experiences your customers expect.

When your customers have questions or need help, what are their options? Calling your contact center? Hunting through the FAQs on your website? Going to a brick-and-mortar store location?

In the digital age, these options are no longer adequate. In fact, 63% of U.S. adults perceive brands that don’t offer options for communication other than the traditional 1-800 number as outdated or old fashioned. The balance of power has shifted to your consumers, who can spread negative online word of mouth like wildfire. Your customers are in control, and they demand a wider selection of communication options.

Enter mobile customer service channels

People rely heavily on their smartphones to communicate with friends and family, share experiences on social media, shop for products, play games, track their physical activity -- you name it. As such, they expect to find help and answers from your brand on your mobile website, your mobile app, and third-party messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, iMessage, and Kik.

Unfortunately, customer service considerations are often overlooked when brands build mobile sites and apps. While the service applet may seem like the least exciting part of your mobile app, it can make or break a consumer's experience with your brand. When your customer needs help, and can't find it, the fanciest app features in the world won't assuage their frustration.

It's time for your brand to provide the sophisticated mobile service experiences your customers have come to expect. To accomplish this, you'll need to focus on the following areas...

Providing answers how and where customers want them

Whether they have a question, a problem, or a need to fill, consumers turn to their smartphones. Many consumer companies have built branded apps and optimized their websites for mobile traffic to serve many objectives -- enabling easier shopping experiences, providing exclusive content, automating certain transactions (i.e. checking in for a hotel or getting a boarding pass for a flight), and so on. But customer self-service is frequently neglected.

When it comes to mobile apps, consumers want brief, easy interactions that help them accomplish their goal quickly. Unfortunately for brands that have poured vast resources into development, users won't give an app very long to make a good first impression: According to data from Quettra, the average mobile app loses 77% of its daily active users within the first three days of usage. Although people will install many apps on their mobile devices, they tend to decide within a three-to-seven day period which ones they want to keep using. This is why customer support must be a crucial part of any brand's app strategy.

However, brands must now go beyond their own apps -- the overwhelming majority of our screen time is spent in messaging apps. According to ComScore, messaging apps such as WeChat, Line, Kik, and Facebook Messenger account for 91% of all time spent on mobile devices and desktops by US users. Said another way, if you only used your smartphone for one hour each day, 55 minutes of that would spent using messaging apps.

As tempting as it may be to say, "Our customers aren't using those messaging apps," think twice: Globally, 6 of the 10 top apps are messengers. By 2018, 3.6 billion people (90% of total internet users) are projected to be using messaging apps.

90% OF TOTAL INTERNET USERS ARE PROJECTED TO BE USING MESSAGING APPS BY 2018.

What does this mean for customer communication? The rise of messaging means that customers want to interact with brands conversationally. You must allow your customers find answers in a conversational way, instead of forcing them to hunt through FAQs or fill out forms. Conversational interfaces, or chatbots, will enable you to provide what your customers want, in the channels they prefer, at scale.

Messengers represent an up-and-coming channel you cannot afford to ignore, and brands that successfully implement smart chatbots, driven by narrow AI and robust knowledge management, will win in this space. For example, in 2015, Hyatt received and responded to over 50,000 WeChat messages, with 60% focused on on-site experiences. As a result, they saw higher engagement around account management, offers, and loyalty program enrollment.

Enabling seamless escalation without switching channels

Sometimes, customer self-service and chatbot interactions won't be enough to find the right answer. It's necessary for brands to enable effortless escalations without forcing customers to switch communication channels. No matter what channel the customer has chosen, they need to be able to stay in the same channel from the beginning of their interaction all the way through to the resolution.

Today's consumers also expect that, when they are transferred to a new agent, the agent will already know what's going on. In fact, two-thirds of customers say they're extremely frustrated by having to repeat information in multiple channels.

For example, say a traveler arrives at the airport gate to find her flight has been cancelled. Tech-savvy consumer that she is, she takes out her smartphone and sends the airline a message via Facebook Messenger: "My flight got cancelled -- help!" Their intelligent chatbot could respond, apologizing for the inconvenience and helping the customer find and book a new flight. If she needs help beyond what the bot can provide, she can simply click a button to start a voice or video call with a live agent who already has all the context of her previous interactions. By quickly resolving her issue without forcing her to switch channels or repeat any information, the brand can turn a negative into a positive and increase the customer's loyalty.

Where Astute Solutions fits in

Astute Solutions specializes in helping consumer brands meet their customers' increasingly demanding expectations. Our suite includes knowledge management, self-service, chatbots, and smart escalation to provide effortless and elegant mobile customer experiences.

Mobile self-service at scale. Astute's award-winning chatbot product understands what your customers are asking, searches your knowledgebase, business systems, and other trusted sources for an answer, and interprets raw data into a conversational, device-friendly response.

Consistent experiences across communication channels. Whether customers want to chat via your mobile site, app, or a third-party messaging app, our software provides a consistent brand experience. Customers can easily and intuitively flow from text chat to a voice call to two-way video with an agent -- having a single, fluid conversation with your brand.

Continuity and context for support staff. Contact center agents use the same CRM interface to manage all communication channels, keeping their focus on providing excellent service. When helping your customers, agents can see the context of all their previous interactions and purchases, giving customers personalized service without asking them to repeat their story over and over.

Deliver excellent customer experiences via mobile. See how in a live demo.