Of-com now reports that 27% of UK adults and 47% of teenagers currently owns a smartphone. And with the adoption to mobile devices on the rise, says Gideon Hollander, it’s easy to see why modern organisations are keen to explore how mobile devices can be used to provide a superior customer service experience.
The trouble with IVR
Traditional interactive voice response (IVR) systems continue to drive customers crazy – especially if the system has too many options or is unduly complicated. To add insult to injury, many customer often go to the trouble of entering all this information, only to be asked for these same details again once they reach a customer service agent. IVR has become synonymous with poor customer service.
In reality, one of the main problems with IVR is that it’s not a full self-service channel, as it can only offer limited data entry. As such, IVR is often used as a glorified routing mechanism, which means that it doesn’t actually reduce inbound call volume, and fuels customer frustration.
The sophisticated customer
Modern customers are now demanding new, more sophisticated ways of interacting with their suppliers – and an ideal solution is now available. New mobile device ‘apps’ provide a very powerful customer service tool, as they can offer a flexible channel that is easy-to-use, convenient and available 24/7.
A menu-driven smartphone app can tackle the same problem that IVR has been trying to solve since the 1990s. A clever smartphone app can visually map out the exact steps of the customer service process, in much the same way as an IVR. The app, however, could enable customers to guide themselves through the IVR menu visually, and even access and interact with the system directly, with full support for alphanumeric data entry and sophisticated self-service capabilities.
Not only would this model make it easier for customers to find the information that they’re after, but the entire customer path – as well as all of the data that’s been entered – could be automatically captured and made visible to the agent, if necessary. As a result, call handling can be made much more productive.
Apps to help customers help themselves
Of course, the business offering these apps will benefit along with their customers. Not only will they be able to reduce costs by lowering the number of calls coming into the call centre, they’ll also be able to reduce call resolution times and therefore improve customer satisfaction in the process.
For all of these reasons, mobile self-service is clearly the way of the future. Apps can provide sophisticated self-service capabilities directly from the mobile device. In addition, because the agent can see all of the information entered by the customer, average handling time can be reduced dramatically, since no questions ever need to be repeated by the agent. The result? Customers experience greater satisfaction across the board, which will lead to increased loyalty, a much stronger brand, and enhanced sales performance for the company concerned.
Author: Gideon Hollander
Source: Call Centre UK: http://www.callcentre.co.uk/page.cfm/Action=library/libID=1/listID=52/libEntryID=4405