Customer service channels aren’t changing; there are just a lot more of them these days, including two top game changers: social and mobile. While social customer service receives a whole lot of media attention – in part due to human error, and in part due to the non-human responses of some brands – it’s the other emerging service channel that we as brands and customer service professionals should be giving equal, if not more, attention.
And that’s mobile. Why? Mobile is not just an additional channel and it’s not just an app; mobile encompasses every channel. Email, support portal, phone, search, social – they’re all in your customers’ hands 24 hours, seven days a week via smartphone. Yet, many brands are still not thinking about the multi-device customer experience when it comes to multi-channel service and support. They’re still thinking of the smartphone (that 1.75 billion people are now using worldwide) as a phone (one channel), rather than how customers use it, as a handheld computer (multi-channel). And that needs to change in 2014 because:
- Smartphone purchases have already surpassed PC purchases, but by 2017, 87% of the worldwide smart connected device market will be tablets and smartphone, with PCs (both desktop and laptop) being just 13% of the market. – IDC
- By 2015, there will be more people accessing the web using a mobile device than a wireless computer. (IDC Worldwide New Media Market Model Forecast)
- 63% of enterprises say that customer engagement is by far the highest priority of their mobile channel strategies, with improving customer satisfaction (30%) and acquiring new customers (35%) the second and third. – Forrester Research
- More than half (55%) of all time spent with online retail now occurs on a mobile device, while 45% occurs on desktops and laptops (and these are last year’s numbers). – ComScore
- Over the past two years, the number of Google searches on mobile has increased by 500%. (Google Our Mobile Planet Smartphone Research)
- 96% have researched a product or service on their phone. (Google Our Mobile Planet Smartphone Research)
Your customers are searching for the answers to their questions and issues online or trying to find an email address for customer support via a very small screen right at this moment. Customer experience and mobile have been named the two most exciting opportunities for 2014. They go together like hand in glove.
It’s time to ask, is your support portal mobile responsive? Is your knowledgebase searchable and indexed for the search engines? Once customers find your content and contact information, can they read it easily via a mobile device?
Are you ready to support customers via text message? Can your support agents deliver support via their mobile devices? Is your brand thinking toward the Internet of Things?
These are just a sampling of the questions that should ring true for all organizations and be tested quickly now that consumers have your multi-channel customer experience in the palm of their hands.