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Customer Service via Mobile Apps? Analysts Say Yes
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August 27, 2012

Customer Service via Mobile Apps? Analysts Say Yes

By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor

There's an app for most everything nowadays: losing weight, socializing, getting entertainment, reading books and news, communicating with friends, checking the weather or your stock portfolio and even curing acne.

Up until now, however, the world of customer service was largely app-free. But that was then, and this is now.

It's not a crazy idea, customer service apps. After all, we love them. According to some research, more than half of us now use a smartphone or similar mobile tablet device, and we spend more time online using apps rather than just browsing websites – so it makes sense that the future of customer service could be in apps.

According to a blogger from global business process outsourcing company, Teleperformance, apps have many advantages over the traditional call to a help center. There’s no waiting time, no limit to how many customers can be interacting with the brand at any one time, and all this is attractive to brands who see a deflection of call volume away from the usual help channels.

The blogger, Mark Pfeiffer, quotes Forrester (News - Alert) analyst Kate Leggett in her ideas about apps being the up-and-coming thing in customer service.

“Companies will also move away from merely duplicating their Web presence in their mobile offering, and focus instead on deploying the right mobile usage scenarios that add value to customers, and which leverage the native capabilities of these devices – such as camera, video and GPS functions that are optimized for the device type, operating system and form factor,” wrote Leggett.

Coupling the ease of an app with the ability to, for example, attach a photo of a broken item or a scratch on the car for an insurance company, the customer service app could become the new normal in the future. Its immediacy appeals to customers, and it helps those companies looking to differentiate themselves with new and better customer service media and a quick response.

But it's certainly going to mean change – major change – for the average call center today.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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