Mobile Apps' Customer Service Connection

Over the past decade, consumers slowly but surely started to demand mobile apps from all of their favorite brands and businesses. Now, the mobile app market is full of different apps for a variety of needs, use case scenarios and entertainment reasons. However, as the mobile app sector increases in maturity, some organizations are losing sight of the end user in an attempt to bring something groundbreaking to the table. While this isn't necessarily a bad approach, enterprises must please their customers with their mobile apps.

"Customer service has found a new home on mobile devices."

In fact, customer service has found a new home on mobile devices, as businesses are starting to deploy apps and corresponding features that meet support needs, demands for information and other consumer-facing solutions. Alternatively, some brands have created internal mobile apps that make customer service easier and more personal than ever.

Using apps for customer service
Many organizations cannot cater to customers' service needs and sit behind a computer desk at the same time. This is true in a variety of sectors, but industries such as automotive repairs, maintenance, security services and others require their support professionals to work in the field. Mobile apps shine in this regard.

Businesses can provide their employees with internally developed mobile apps that tie into existing customer relationship management platforms and other systems, allowing them to view and collect consumer data while on the go and providing service.

Take JN Phillips for example. This organization offers windshield replacements for cars and other vehicles, and typically, that requires service representatives to travel off-site. So, JN Phillips integrated its various systems - fleet management, CRM, Web services and inventory interfaces - together on a mobile app. Now, with a tablet or a smartphone, JN Phillips' service technicians can look up customer information in real time and provide personalized support for its consumers. Its app even works offline, ensuring that even when 4G service is unavailable, they can meet customers' needs.

Providing customer service through an app
Empowering support agents with mobile apps is a great way to improve relationships with clients, but not every business provides on-site customer service. Therefore, some enterprises must give consumers the power to solve problems, and again, the solution lies in a customer service oriented mobile app.

In fact, 64 percent of mobile marketers reported that customer service improvements and loyalty boosts are the leading reasons for creating a mobile app in the first place, according to survey results provided by FollowAnalytics. Armed with a mobile app, consumers can always contact a brand and solve a problem or find information, which demonstrates that that organization cares about its clients. After all, getting assistance from anywhere is a primary factor driving the adoption of smartphones to begin with.

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Contributing to USwitch, Jonathan Leggett reported that Apple is investing specifically in an app that provides customer service. The mobile app essentially puts the "Genius Bar" at users' fingertips, and with it, consumers can troubleshoot issues themselves - self-service is huge in 2015 and will continue to be in 2016 - or schedule in-store consultations or repairs. Enterprises should take note of Apple's customer service strategy, especially considering that Apple started the whole mobile app revolution.

Mobile monitoring and improving future interactions
Mobile apps are a great way for brands to collect information about their customers. As such, enterprises will benefit from connecting those data sources to existing platforms and CRM systems. FollowAnalytics found that 97 percent of mobile marketers agree that mobile data is key to improving customer experiences. Additionally, the source noted that by sharing this data, companies can boost loyalty as well as make interactions more "contextual" and personalized.

Nowadays, personalization is king of the customer experience realm, and with a mobile app that can immediately send consumer data to support agents, call centers and IT systems, representatives can always adjust interactions to meet expectations, knowledge level and brand familiarity. Furthermore, by collecting mobile app data and identifying trends in user behaviors, brands can cut down on customer service requirements. For example, with that information, common pain points can be circumvented and smoothed out.

There are many ways to provide great customer service with mobile apps, and enterprises should experiment to discover what works best for them.