02 August 2017

Embedding communications in mobile applications

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

Embedding communications in mobile applications

Think about how much time you spend on mobile devices through the day. For many people, the answer is “a lot,” but the actual number might be more than you think. One study showed that the average U.S. consumer spends 5 hours per day on mobile devices1. Because of this, the mobile experience is becoming increasingly natural to consumers, with mobile apps dominating their focus. In fact, 92% of users’ time on mobile is spent within apps1. Consumers are so familiar with their mobile devices that switching to another platform feels unnatural- even having to switch to a mobile browser is an unusual experience, as mobile browsers only occupy 8% of mobile activity1.

As consumers use mobile devices more frequently, they expect to be able to do everything on mobile that can be done on desktop devices. While smartphone ownership experiences a massive uptick, desktop/laptop device ownership is beginning to slow2. With this shift, businesses need to be focused on mobile to provide an optimal customer experience. What does it mean to be mobile-focused? The answer is not so simple. Below, we will outline the three stages of mobile integration. The depth of this integration often corresponds with your customers’ adoption of your mobile application.

Becoming mobile-native

The depth of your mobile integration is key to providing a truly mobile-native customer experience. The first level requires no effort, and every business already provides some amount of mobile integration. If your customers can reach you by phone, congratulations! You already completed stage one of the mobile customer experience. Your customers can pick up their mobile phone and call your business, which is the most natural experience for many of them.

Stage two requires the addition of multimedia capabilities to your customer experience. Maru/edr reports that consumers prefer a different media channel than calling for five of six contact types. Further, consumers use an average of 2.7 channels to contact companies3. While not every media channel is native to mobile, consumers are more likely to use certain channels on their mobile device than on a desktop. These channels include calling and SMS, which are native to the device, as well as email, apps, live chat and social media. Enabling customers to reach you through their preferred channel on their mobile device creates a more positive customer experience.

Stage three of incorporating mobile into your customer strategy involves embedding communications channels directly into your mobile application. As previously mentioned, mobile users spend 92% of their time in apps. Therefore, it is imperative that consumers can communicate with your business from within your mobile app. Embedded communications within mobile apps provide a distinct set of benefits to your business, and to your customers. The following section will highlight some of the key advantages derived from embedding communications into your mobile application.

Benefits of application-embedded communications

When embedding communications into your mobile app, not only will you reap the benefits, but so will your customers. The first, and most obvious benefit, is the ability for your customer to communicate with your business using various channels, directly within the app. You can embed such media channels as voice, SMS, live chat and video so that customers can use their preferred communications channel without having to exit the application. Customers frequently become frustrated when a communications channel is not meeting their needs. What if the customer could prompt the escalation from a live chat to a voice call without ever leaving the application? If this can be done inline, without disconnecting the conversation, your customers will be left feeling more satisfied with the experience you provide them.

The second benefit of application-embedded communications is the ability to prompt contact with your customer. Customers often attempt to answer questions or solve problems before reaching out to your contact center. At that point, your customers already feel frustrated and defeated. What if you could avoid those sentiments by initiating contact before the customer reaches that point? An excellent example would be the use of a small popup in the corner of the mobile application. The popup could suggest that the customer reach out to your business if he/she cannot find the answer to a question. Prompting this communication enables a positive customer experience by preventing users from reaching the point of anger of frustration. If the customer knows that your business is always available to interact, he/she will be more confident in using your mobile application

The third and perhaps most important benefit of embedded communications is the ability to leverage context. When a customer initiates a contact with your business from within the mobile application, the app can provide context to the agent to enable a faster and more effective interaction. Context can include account information, geolocation, or the actions taken by the customer while in the application. The power of context can drastically improve first contact resolution. Your application can even be linked to a CRM for automated data lookup at the start of an interaction. The customer will benefit from a fast and effective interaction, while your agents will be empowered by the provided information. This will improve agent morale, and enable them to handle more interactions in less time.

Having established the benefits of mobile-embedded communications, the final step is to build this integration. We can help you embed communications in your mobile application! Contact us today to learn more: http://www.computer-talk.com/en/contact-us









blog comments powered by Disqus

About the Author