Mobile Technology Changing Customer Service Standards

A Tyntec/Ovum survey shows a gap exists in all vertical markets between consumers' expectations of mobile apps and what businesses are providing.

ovum and mobility

Customers' top priorities when contacting a company are getting through to an agent quickly (80 percent), and the speed with which their inquiry is resolved (74 percent), according to a Tyntec and Ovum survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States and Germany.

Mobile communication channels can play a crucial role in addressing customer inquiries faster, but a large gap exists between what consumers expect and what's being provided by brands across all industries, the survey found.

"There may be new mobile technologies emerging, but we're still dealing with [an] old issue: lack of standardization," Marco Lafrentz, product manager at Tyntec, told eWEEK. "Mobile communications technologies are being developed in silos without sufficient level of standardization, making it difficult for international businesses to create and maintain consistent brand experiences across markets and touchpoints. Couple that with the speed in which the technologies are evolving and the varying requirements of local tastes and regulations, businesses can quickly find the challenges difficult to tackle."

Given the complexities of the mobile communications ecosystem, Lafrentz said, it's crucial for companies to work with a service provider who can integrate multiple technologies, SMS and various chat apps seamlessly across all markets.

"When it comes to mobile engagement, there's a significant gap between consumers' expectations and what's being provided by businesses across all industries, including e-commerce brands that are typically ahead of the rest in terms of using new technologies," he said. "Mobile messaging, namely SMS and chat apps, are key to closing that gap."

While email and voice still are commonly used communication channels, 56 percent of respondents would like to send an SMS to their customer service agents using the same number they use to call them, the survey found.

Respondents' believe SMS is less time-consuming (44 percent) and more convenient (42 percent) than alternative communications forms.

"The study reveals that no matter where your markets are, whether you're in one of the most service-oriented markets such as the U.S. or in a more lagging countries such as Germany, it is inevitable that businesses have to integrate mobile messaging into their customer engagement channels," Lafrentz said.

He noted as an early adopter of omnichannel strategies, e-commerce companies already have taken mobile messaging to the next level for their ever-more demanding mobile consumers, including the emerging use of bots.

"A mobile-first approach is required for satisfying consumers' growing reliance for mobile communications and orchestrating all communication channels in a brand's omni-chanel customer engagement strategies," Lafrentz said. "Mobile messaging will drive faster, more context-based engagement, such as enabling conversational commerce using artificial intelligence, in the very near future."