Customer service is constantly evolving as technology changes the way businesses reach out to consumers. Today’s businesses are interacting with their most loyal customers on social media and over email as customers turn to the internet instead of making a phone call when they need help.
The increasing trend toward widespread smartphone usage is only further pushing the customer service experience forward. More than half of all U.S. adults now own smartphones, with 76% of millennials choosing the devices. With more customers able to access the internet, social media, and email from wherever they are, this means your business should be fully focused on crafting a customer-friendly mobile experience in order to remain competitive.
A Customer-Centric Focus
A recent infographic from Vision Critical pointed out that while many companies think they’re customer-centric, they may be making crucial errors. The infographic points out that companies that prioritize customer experience outperform those companies that don’t. Further, companies that use tools and strategies that improve customer experience win, with 84% of CIOs at customer-centric companies now focusing on the mobile customer experience.
As the internet took its place in most American households, businesses realized the yellow pages had been replaced. When customers wanted to find a local repairperson or restaurant, they looked online for that information, usually on a PC in the home. In recent years, widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets has switched that search to much smaller screens, leaving businesses tasked with creating a mobile-friendly user experience, including responsive websites and location-based search engine optimization.
Mobile technology has given users the ability to search for items nearby, giving consumers a level of convenience not previously available. While on vacation, they can search for a great pizzeria nearby. While at home, they can easily locate the closest hair salon or pest control service. Among the search results, they can click to learn more about each business and choose the best one to meet their current needs.
This has changed the way businesses deliver customer service to local residents. Up-to-date location information is essential across all of a business’s online listings, from review sites to social media pages to their own websites. Information on a business’s hours and an updated phone number is also more important than ever. These items can be easily overlooked, especially if a business changes its hours frequently.
For customers, a personalized, friendly experience is still important, even when interacting with a brand online. Successful customer-centric businesses assign a live customer service representative to interact with customers, whether they’re accessing a site on their PC or mobile device. Merely directing visitors to a FAQ section or 1-800 number is no longer sufficient. Customers expect quick help when they need it, where they need it, whether it’s on a mobile site or through email.
Widespread mobile adoption has also driven a need for businesses to have a 24/7 presence on social media sites. If a customer tweets about a problem with a brand, that tweet will remain out there, creating an ongoing reputation issue for the company. Additionally, the customer will assume the brand is out of touch with consumers, with no interest in remedying problems. Many businesses now resolve the challenge of remaining constantly aware by using services like Mention that monitor the web for a specific search term. These services help brands reply to customers as soon as something is posted to offer a resolution.
Mobile devices are here to stay, so it’s important that businesses ensure each customer experience is optimized for the smartphones they’ll likely be using to find information. By ensuring websites are user-friendly and customers can find the information they need, businesses of all sizes will position themselves to compete in a mobile-driven world.
Infographic By: Vision Critical