by Mikel Steadman, manager of sales engineering & implementation services with Dyn
Currently, we are in the era of user experience and it is imperative that businesses understand that the experience does not end with their products or services. It also includes the post-sale support they provide. The way in which companies are providing that support is changing rapidly and should they fail to keep up, their business could be left behind, too. Of course, throughout history customers have received those experiences differently. Before the advent of telephone support (1890-1960), consumers would purchase from their local supplier/vendor/shop in a face-to-face engagement. Why? Because that was the best way to assure to know your supplier, product, and support team. People walked away with an expectation that they knew their path of support and new purchasing opportunities.
When telephone support was invented it quickly became the best and fastest option to connect to a wider market.
This ultimately fostered better pricing, services, and support models.
Fast forward to today and the story is the same for web sites and email – faster, better, and a different technology that has unlocked what I call, the global-market.
” customer support must be mobile ready”
The global market is competitive. People demand information, social engagement, support, empathy, encouragement, analytics, metrics, and self-service tools to help them solve problems faster than ever.
They demand all of this because they rely on data to help them drive quick, but accurate decisions. We are all operating at the speed of now.
The velocity of those demands has increased exponentially and are parallel with the velocity of mobile technology itself.
Mobile is the new norm
In Q4 2011, mobile devices outsold laptop and desktop computers. Since then, the trends seem to suggest that the growth/demand of mobile has no measurable ceiling. Mobile is the present and the future.
So if we know that more and more businesses will be mobile first and we know that the success of a modern business relies on customer support then we realise that customer support must be mobile ready.
What does that mean?
It means people want immediate and succinct information. For example, think about your own interaction with your work inbox.
Wouldn’t you get frustrated if you pulled out your mobile device and then opened an email equivalent to a 1,000 word plus novel just for a simple request?
Unless you requested a full technical debrief, documentation to a solution, or strategic planning proposal, most humans I know, prefer high-touch, mobile-friendly, concise, and simple interactions.
That is where the future of good support lies. Many mistake ‘concise’ and ‘simple’ with quick and easy.
But as Mark Twain once mused, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.”
High-touch, mobile friendly, concise, and simple interactions are not easy. But if done correctly they can have a great impact.
So where do you begin? Here are some tips on how to get started in offering good mobile ready support: -
Mobile web self-service
Mobile web self-service is focused on providing an ability to provide a support experience with keyword search; dynamic and most popular answers; answer feedback; and a knowledge base to customers in a mobile friendly format.
Mobile phone support
Provide customers with mobile phone support from their mobile devices.
Mobile web ask anything
Create customer-delight by providing an ability for customers to send an email to support using a request box or form that is fully optimised for mobile devices as well as being integrated with the primary company support knowledge base.
Mobile social support
The ability to provide support over social networks right within a mobile app allows customers to experience social support via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
Mobile web video/audio/text chat
Launch live web video/audio/text chat via a mobile device to support customers over the phone.
Mobile has changed the way we access and consume information so it’s only natural that it would impact the way businesses support their customers.
These are exciting days indeed for those who value user experience and live by the motto of ‘customer first’.
Mikel Steadman is currently manager of sales engineering & implementation services with Dyn, an Internet performance solutions provider.