Mobile is Here to Stay
Hardware prices have fallen due to decreased manufacturing costs of electronic parts while a fiercely competitive telecom market has forced service providers to bring out cheap data plans. On the whole, buying and maintaining a mobile (especially an app based, web connected, smart phone) is now much cheaper than it was even three years back. Back in Dec 2010, 31% of people in the United States owned smart phones, by Dec. 2011 that number was approaching 50%. Globally, the numbers are similar, with an estimated 30% Smartphone adoption, with some demographics as high as 50% today.1 Additionally, Gartner predicts that by 2014 there will be more mobile smart devices than PCs and laptops.2
Current Trends in Smartphone Usage
Consumer and social usage are very popular among Smartphone owners. You constantly see people all around blogging, tweeting, face booking, four squaring and shopping at Amazon on their mobiles.
In addition, mobile usage is gaining popularity for customer care and support purposes as well. A proliferation of numerous enterprise apps, specifically tailored for the smart phone sector means that companies are now aligning themselves to customers’ expectations of providing an app, for basically, everything.
The CEO of Pay Pal, John Donahoe has predicted an increase of $ 7 billion in mobile payment transactions by the end of 2012. By 2015, the international mobile net banking customer base will expand to 1.1 billion3.
The number of mobile phone users who have bought or are in the process of buying a ticket from their smart phones has increased exponentially. Juniper Research data indicates that this figure is around 750 million users.
To this day, over 40 billion apps have been purchased from the Google Play, iTunes, or other apps stores. 4
Industry Adaptation to Mobile Usage Growth
The above statistics make it perfectly clear that mobile applications are the new platforms to engage customers.
Traditionally, customers are accustomed to using a company’s website as a self help channel for query resolution. However, if these attempts fail and customers are forced to reach out to the contact center, the repetitive information demands become an annoyance and cause unnecessary frustrations.
As a business, if you are simply aiming to convert your web platform into a mobile version, you are making a big mistake. The fragmented service front, underutilization of the smartphone capabilities, poor usability, and lack of proper transfer of the web page to the mobile platform will only alienate your customers further leading to customer flight.
This gap in service continuity has led to the birth of new mobile customer service technologies that enable organizations to easily develop dynamic customer interactions for mobile devices, enabling customers to leverage this self service channel to its fullest. Additional advantages such as integrating smartphone features to the experience, providing a real time experience with proper back end integration and allowing a seamless transfer to the call center when needed – are sure to make the mobile channel a popular one amongst the smartphone users.
Now, mobile customer service apps can provide compelling customer experiences. Your customer service division will transform into an agile transactional service provider and streamline your customer interaction flows. More so, the optimal interactions you designed for your mobile channel can be easily duplicated across other channels such as the web, voice, chat and social media. This not only saves costs for your organization but also enables your customers to enjoy a consistent customer experience, regardless of the channel he chooses to start or finish his interactions in.
2. Gartner June 2012 G00234964
[About the author] Dylon Mills is the Director of Marketing Content Strategy & Development at Jacada. As such, Dylon’s main responsibilities are to strategize, create and deliver content for Jacada’s product portfolio that align with the global Go-To-Market strategy, corporate positioning, and marketing campaigns. Dylon’s prior work experience includes Product Management at one of the top Fortune 500 Technology companies, Symantec Corporation. Outside of work, Dylon enjoys problem-solving and any project that includes building/tinkering with tools. Dylon holds a BS Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.