We’re rapidly approaching a time (and may have already reached it) where people are more likely to use the Internet by way of a smartphone or tablet app than through an Internet browser. That means that all facets of online business, including retail, customer interface and customer service will eventually be available through a mobile version of the store.
Apps have already changed the way we shop; now, they are beginning to change the way that we pursue and are given customer service and assistance.
While there aren’t many companies who provide customer service apps, the ones that do are only a microcosm of a growing trend among businesses that have customer service being delivered in the following ways:
- Quickly, with immediate access to resources and assistance
- Less focused on calling and more focused on live online help or easily searchable FAQ pages
- A central location for engaging with customer service and finding information
Since so many people are moving away from Internet browsers and depending more and more on their smart phones for accessing the web, it makes sense that companies would be seeking for a way to incorporate their customer service into the world of smartphone and tablet apps.
While it’s true that you can always call customer service via your smartphone, it’s not the most typical way to get things done anymore.
The challenge for the business app world is whether or not an app can take you through that process more quickly and with less stress.
Is an app actually better?
On a basic level, customer service apps are centralizing the support and customer service elements that were previously stretched between web pages and telephone calls.
The question is now whether or not setting things up that way is less stressful and time-consuming than the other options that are still in place for many companies. A lot of brands have an app for their store or business, but are hesitant to release an app that is specifically for the purpose of providing customer support.
Typically, when a customer needs support, the added time of having to search for and download another app isn’t an attractive option simply because you’ve now added two other steps to getting a desirable solution.
When presented with that scenario, someone who’s having a problem that they want dealt within a timely matter is still more likely to call instead of go through the trouble of finding an app.
The Future of Customer Service Apps
That’s not to say that apps aren’t going to play a role in the future of customer service; however, it is more likely that they’ll be consolidated into the company’s main app, or their most popular one that would have likely been downloaded already.
As previously mentioned, this will further contribute to the trend of consolidated customer service that mobile applications have already started to create.
We’ve got some ground to cover before any kind of significant percentage of customer service is delivered by way of a mobile or tablet app, but there has definitely been some shifts in the way consumers interact with websites and web-based companies.
Whether or not those apps prove to be more convenient than a computer and a phone number will determine their success.