A couple of years ago, mobile devices overtook desktops in internet usage for the first time. The trend is predicted to continue in the future - people are increasingly consuming content and doing business on mobile devices. This also poses a challenge for online customer service.
CUSTOMER SERVICE REGARDLESS OF THE DEVICE
To be successful, a company cannot simply choose the channels on which it serves its customers. Instead, customers must be served on all the channels on which they want to be served. Competition is increasingly global in almost all industries, so the winner will be the company that can provide best customer experiences.
Customers expect seamless and easy service, regardless of the channel. In particular, online and mobile shopping is growing alongside the growth of e-commerce. In the US, for example, the share of mobile shoppers in total online sales is predicted to grow to almost 50% by 2020..
UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT AND USER ENVIRONMENT IS INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT
Mobile devices are with us at almost every moment of the day: on the bus commute to work or watching TV on the sofa in the evening. In fact, these are often the moments when we have time to search for information and take care of business.
Mobile is therefore becoming increasingly important as a customer service and transaction channel for consumers and businesses alike. When working with mobile services, it is particularly important to understand the customer's environment. A customer travelling in a busy bus may not have the time to fill in a long form or search through a whole website to find the information they need.
THE CONSUMER JUMPS FROM ONE DEVICE TO ANOTHER
Searching for information on a mobile device and a laptop for a final booking or purchase. People are fluidly 'jumping' from one device to another during their purchase process, which creates its own challenges for businesses - how do I serve my customers as intelligently and seamlessly as possible?
This cross-device thinking and the associated targeting and measurement will become increasingly important in the future.
CUSTOMER FIRST, TECHNOLOGY SECOND
When talking about the increase in mobile device usage and how businesses should better serve their customers online, technology and its importance comes up in discussions. In this context, it is important to remember that technology is an enabler, but it should not be an end in itself. The key is to understand how customers behave and through which channels they want to be served.
Customer service chat is a good example of how the user environment and the terminal device influence the ease of use. Typing on a smartphone to chat with a customer service agent might not be so easy; in many cases a chatbot or submitting a contact request may be an easier way for customers to communicate via mobile.
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