Let’s face it: we are phone obsessed.
According to statistics portal Statista, mobile Internet traffic in 2013 makes up around 17 percent of global web traffic (up 6 percent from 2012) and is quickly becoming the device of choice among users for most web-based activity. Esteban Kolsky, founder of analyst firm thinkJar and speaker at Wednesday’s Dreamforce breakout session — The Future of Mobile Customer Service — told attendees: “Gartner predicts that mobile device use will surpass PC and desktop use in the next few years.”
Kolsky, who presented presented with other industry leaders like Sheryl Kingtstone of IT research and analysis company Yankee Group and ServiceMax’s Dave Hart, lead a discussion with his colleagues around how this spike in mobile use will effect service.
Native Apps are on the Rise
According to Kolsky, forward-thinking companies are moving beyond a mobile-optimized company site to creating interactive mobile apps (either through native apps or HTML5) that customers can use to engage with self-service and customer contact centers. For example, French insurance company Groupama, offers customers a mobile app that gives them access to a visual interactive voice response (IVR) center. Now, customers can interact with self-service center without sitting on hold or re-entering and re-explaining their information.
Mobility Increases Effectiveness in the Field
For field service companies, the latest mobile innovations come down to increasing service effectiveness, explained Kingstone. By taking advantage of the advancements in geolocation and increased WiFi availability, field service companies can improve their service call schedules. Hart solved an issue that his previous company — Pitney Bowes — had with field service engineers who failed to charge customers for repairs when they didn’t have access to the customer’s account while on site.
By giving iPads to their entire field service team, the company was able to make the costs of services, dates of warranty, contract details, and other account information available, on-the-go, to service technicians. This saved the company millions, according to Hart, as engineers could now settle payments with customers without any confusion.