Tag Archives: mobile phones

New Developments in Mobile Customer Service Apps

New developments in customer service applications on smart phones and tablets, or as society has now deemed them ‘apps’, is all about increasing revenue for the businesses creating them. In doing so, the user of the application (the buyer), becomes a more engaged and loyal customer by spending less time on tedious details, and more time deciding what to buy. The saying ‘time is money,’ is everything in the application world, and by lowering the time it takes to buy a product, companies make it more likely through consumer-friendly applications to see increased revenues and sales. Essentially, the ease of connection between the seller and the buyer is paramount to retaining customers and ultimately adding to the bottom line.

Increasingly, the competitive landscape between retailers has forced them to expand and enhance their mobile applications to help attract and retain consumers. In today’s technology driven and increasingly wired-world, it is essential for retailers to create applications that allow for buyers to easily communicate with sellers, albeit on a transaction or customer service basis. Current developments in customer service applications by retailers in recent months have helped ease the process of transactions for buyers, and therefore, began to pave a path for productivity and satisfaction for both parties. A significant breakthrough in this field has been a strategy known as straight through processing (STP),that works so that once the seller has the necessary information for a purchase as input by the buyer, it becomes stored and password protected for individuals future usage. By essentially creating a saved account on individual apps within companies computer network, buyers no longer have to dredge through inputting information they may have done just a few days ago. This process has allowed an expedition of the customer service processes and retail sales, by allowing buyers to skip the tedious steps of inputting personal information and instead just punch in a password tied to their personal account. Inherently, this allows for accessibility and ease for the buyer; two traits vitally necessary for enhancing the customers experience with X retailer or seller, as well as increasing the customers likelihood of returning to use that retailer.

For example, in a recent article entitled ‘15 Mobile Retail Apps that Enhance Customer Experiences‘ by Sig Ueland, the focus is on retail applications such that are changing and modernizing the relationship between retailers and customers. A preeminent example of this as cited by Ueland in is the Best Buy application that gives customers on a real-time basis access to:
‘ Track past purchases
‘ Scan QR codes
‘ Access reviews
‘ Compare product prices
‘ Find in-store availability

The Best Buy application is just one amongst many other applications that have enhanced and eased the connection between large-scale retailers and customers, allowing for a more personalized relationship on portable devices. The correlation between increased personal service through applications and repeat usage of services from individual consumers is overwhelming, and surely signifies the necessity and potential for increased revenue that these customer service applications provide in the long run. Simply put, by connecting major retailers with customers through applications allows companies to connect to their patron on a more personal level, ultimately leading to brand loyalty which is essential for long-term revenue growth.

Chelsea Baptiste is a second year intern at IIR USA focusing on Market Research and Social Media. She can be reached at CBaptiste@IIRUSA.com

Looking to learn more about Mobile Customer Service Apps? Check out  “Is Your Mobile App Customer Centric?” with Matthew Rhoden of Peppers & Rogers Group at this year’s Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit.

What Do Your Digital Customer Experience Strategy Look Like?

This recent post on Mashable by Ron Rogowski of Forrester Research points out some important reasons that brands need to have a digital customer experience strategy in the current market to stay competitive.

For example, the role of mobile devices. “This suite of empowering devices has driven customer expectations to new heights, and has increased the frequency of interactions between customers and businesses.” (Last week’s post on Gripe is a good example of this.)

But what makes a good digital customer experience strategy? Rogowski gave some good starting points:

  • Start with company and brand strategy.
  • Describe the intended digital experience.
  • Direct activities and processes that support the defined experience.
  • Guide digital channel investments

More than just a website or a twitter handle, a digital customer experience strategy needs to reflect the overall brand strategy and directly support and reflect offline brand activities.

Together, these elements add up to the real key to a successful digital customer experience strategy – seeing the digital world (mobile, social media and web) as holistic extensions of the brand. These digital touchpoints provide core moments to connect and engage with customers to create lifelong brand advocates.

So what does your digital customer experience strategy look like?

Looking to learn more about customer experience? Join us Oct. 3-5, 2011 for the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit. Hear from the top B2B, and service oriented B2C companies on Measurement & ROI, Data Performance, Operational Metrics and Social Media CRM. Download the brochure here.

Plus follow us on twitter for updated information at @TotalCustomer.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com.

Are Mobile Apps The Future of Customer Service?

Between reading about the recent addition of ICE (Interactive Customer Experience’) TV and Mobile programs, a virtual, interactive concierge service, to the newly opened JW Marriott Indianapolis Downtown and learning the results of the most recent J.D. Power and Associates study on customer satisfaction‘wherein automated response systems did nearly as well as the industry average satisfaction level’it seems clear that automated customer service and customer service systems are a trend with staying power. American Airlines, as we discussed last week, also offers mobile applications to keep customer experiences stress free, such as the Mobile Boarding Pass system.

With a general public that is increasingly using smart phones to text and tap their way through the day, it’s hardly surprising that some would prefer to address customer service issues in this manner. Why dial an 800 number and wait to speak to a service representative, when you can call up the Internet or an app from your mobile device for immediate answers? What was once simply the realm of Interactive Voice Response technology now includes elements such as text, touch and visual inputs and outputs.

What is your company doing when it comes to automated response systems and mobile technology? Do you see mobile apps as a potential time and money saving device? Or is developing and maintaining mobile technology seen as an additional unneeded expense? If you are developing mobile technology, will it be proactive’such as the American Airlines or ICE applications, which address customer needs before a problem arises’or reactive, such as a direct link to customer service questions? Share with us in the comments!

Rating the Carriers: Customer Service Showdown

Laptop magazine recently released their own study about the quality of customer service among cell phone carriers within the USA. They found that overall, T-Mobile offered the best customer service based on customer service within the store, web, phone and overall satisfaction.

Do you agree?

Rating the Carriers: Customer Service Showdown

Market Research Shows Financial Phone Applications Will Attract Billions

According to Tabitha Berg at enewschannels.com, a study released by Insight Research predicts that financial phone applications will attract billions in the next few years. By studing the recession, the research organzation claims that ‘Our analysis suggests that the eight cell phone financial applications covered in this study will be part of the solution. When this recession ends, the global financial system will emerge stronger and more tightly integrated, and the cell phone’s new financial transaction capabilities will be a part of the foundation of that recovery,’ Insight Research president Robert Rosenberg concluded.

For more information about this study, please see the original article here.

What other digital innovations might happen after the recession? How is market research helping companies to predict this changes?