As of the end of 2014, almost two billion individuals own a smartphone globally, a figure expected to reach five billion by 2019 (Forrester Research Group). And as technology becomes faster and more efficient, and consumers continue adopting the latest devices on the market, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to connect with their customers using this relatively new channel. In fact, according to recent Forrester Research report, “Trends 2015: The Future of Customer Service”, adopting a “Mobile-First Mindset” in customer service is one of the key trends facing the customer service space over the course of this year. And with increasingly connected, mobile, and demanding consumers, businesses must learn to embrace mobile customer service quickly in order to remain relevant within their respective industries.
Consider the following mobile consumer trends taking place:
- Almost 50% of consumers are now shopping using a mobile device (Synchrony Financial Survey)
- 18% of consumers report having made a purchase on a mobile device, up 50% since 2013 (Synchrony Financial Survey)
- Almost one-third of consumers are purchasing a product after seeing it on social media
- Approximately one-third of consumers indicate that text offers would drive an incremental shopping visit (Synchrony Financial Survey)
- Nearly one in three social media users prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone
- 70-80% of social media interactions will be customer service-oriented within the next 5 years (DMG Consulting)
- Social media is used as the primary customer service channel by 36.4 percent of Gen Y consumers
- 71% of those who experience positive social care experience are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19 percent of customers that do not receive a response
- 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer
- Across all industries, mobile traffic is increasing by 3.5% per month
- 35% of smartphone owners expect to access the Internet using their phone more in the future
- 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat
- 70% of mobile search users engage with click-to-call
- 72% of consumers said they would replace traditional channels with mobile apps if the same customer service features were available
WebRTC: Adopting a WebRTC-friendly contact center solution is one of the first steps towards creating a “Mobile-First Mindset”. A relatively new technology that supports browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, online chat, and file sharing without the need for internal or external plugins, WebRTC enables consumers to contact an organization through any device/channel with the simple click-of-a-button while bypassing the costs associated with traditional telephony carriers. Fast, free, and convenient, WebRTC seems to meet all of the criteria of today’s mobile consumers.
SMS Capabilities: Roughly 79% of cell phone owners say they use text messaging on their mobile devices. Offering quick notifications without dramatically interrupting users’ time, text messaging has become a vital part of today’s communications landscape. And by utilizing a call center solution that supports SMS, businesses and contact centers can easily and cost effectively send their customers automated text messages with appointment reminders, confirmation numbers, flight changes, important alerts, and current specials—allowing them to keep their customers informed without using up too much time or resources.
Social Customer Care Strategy: Today, 73% of the US population has at least one social media profile, the majority of which are managed from mobile devices. And to be truly “mobile friendly”, businesses need to create a social media strategy not only catered towards their sales and marketing initiatives, but also their customer service ones. As mentioned previously, 70-80% of social media interactions will be customer service-oriented within the next 5 years, which if ignored, can cause a PR nightmare. Businesses need to ensure social media is successfully incorporated into their customer care initiatives, and managed by the contact center, in order to effectively meet the needs of their mobile consumers.