The mobile era is upon us - very soon, mobile will not only be bigger than the desktop in terms of traffic and revenue. For customer engagement this not just a challenge, it’s a huge opportunity. As you go mobile, here are 5 tips for continuing to provide great customer support to your app users.
Monitoring app ratings isn’t enough
App ratings only tell part of the story. Chances are, if you’re using Zendesk to you sell real products or provide a real service, and app ratings simply do not capture the full picture of customer happiness. They’re also a one way channel ; you can’t identify and communicate directly with customers who have problems. Zendesk already gives you a 360 view of your business, but if app ratings are your primary mobile benchmark, you miss a huge opportunity.
Recommendation #1: Know your channel - in mobile as in the web, some support forums are private (like in-app feedback and emails) and some are public. Monitor them all to stay on top of trends, and give users an outlet to vent.
Don’t kick users out of your app and into mobile Safari.
Developing an app is expensive. Many apps work hard to engage users, only to kick them into the browser when they are most vulnerable. Not only does this drive negative app ratings, it also drives lost sales and reduces customer happiness. You also lose much of the context which helps agents solve problems more quickly. In this case, even embedding your helpdesk via a webview, is better than sending a user into the browser.
Recommendation #2: Default to in-app feedback. You can do this yourself, or embed your help center in your app using a tool like Radialpoint SupportKit (for a webview) or Hipmob (for native iOS, Android or PhoneGap). Full disclosure - Hipmob is my company. Zendesk this year is coming up with even richer mobile options, as are we.
To support mobile users, you need more context
Make sure you capture all user context or you’ll often miss the real source of the problem. Sometimes customers can have a transactional issue, and identifying the customer and the order is all you need. Other times though, the issue is technical, and to figure it out you need diagnostic data, so why not collect it upfront? For example - SmartThings (a Zendesk customer that also uses Hipmob) sometimes deals with technical issues customers have connecting to various home electronics. In those cases, knowing the device, app version, operating system and Wifi/Bluetooth connectivity helps solve issues faster. Zappos, a leader in mobile customer support does a great job of this - when you try to send an email, you’re given a few options to choose from, and embedded in each, is basic info about your device/app, and a log file containing even more (technical) context.
Recommendation #3: Whatever you use to capture user feedback or support, whether a 3rd party tool, something built in house or email, make sure you’re capturing enough context to solve the user’s problem.
Zappos for iPhone
Mobile isn’t just a channel, its an opportunity.
Apps let you do things that weren’t possible in a browser - the opportunity to be on the homescreen, to be a persistent yet useful presence in your users life, to personalize communication with a user not only based on who they are, but where they are, and what time it is, and to get out of their already crowded inbox. As you iterate your mobile effort, focus on the “job” that your app does for customers. For education companies like AnywhereEducation (also a Zendesk customer), the iPad app enables users to have educational materials wherever they are (this matters because their users are mostly pilots), be updated with the latest data, and purchase and access new materials as they become available. They become a persistent presence in each user’s life, with customer support (articles and tickets) never more than a tap away.
Recommendation #4: Make sure you’re exploiting the unique mobile opportunities available to you.
You make what you measure.
In mobile, data is king. The analytics tool you use depends on your type of business and your constraints, but if you’re not tracking your usage, you’re leaving money on the table. As you choose an analytics tool, check if your web analytics tool has a mobile plugin - otherwise, this guide can help you choose.. Good analytics helps you get more personal with mobile users, and automate even more of your customer support, which makes your team more effective.
Recommendation #5: Track everything.
It’s early days in mobile and everyone’s still figuring it out (including us), but the rates of adoption are astonishing and those who don’t adapt will be left behind. We’re always trying to learn so if you’ve seen any examples of awesome customer support on mobile, please share them (firstname.lastname@example.org). Many businesses will see mobile traffic and revenue surpass the desktop in 2014. Your customers are already there, so why aren’t you?