The days of annoying customer service calls may be over, thanks to a new application for smartphones and mobile devices recently released by Jacada (News - Alert) software. The app both simplifies and expedites the service process for companies and customers alike. Jacada believes that IVR or interactivevoiceresponse has become associated with sub-par customer service.
Customers calling a help line and running into a "machine" may consider IVR to be a barrier in getting the assistance they need, believing that the possibility of talking to an agent live in order to solve more complex problems is impossible or frustrating due to wait times. Customers often have to repeat the same information, such as their name, account number, or nature of their problem to the IVR and the agent multiple times, and when transferring over from IVR to live agent, they may have to explain their problem twice starting from the beginning each time.
These are annoyances that Jacada hopes to eliminate. The new application Jacada Mobile Agent is designed to streamline the self-serve customer service process. Users are given the chance to solve the problem on their own through easy to navigate troubleshooting menus. Jacada Mobile Agent is designed to interface with an organization's business system in order to present helpful and relevant information during the initial self-service phase. Data entry is also supported, and it is an option to search through databases of information on a particular problem through the application as well. When customers can solve problems on their own more often, call volume to customer service lines is reduced.
In the event that self-service doesn't solve the problem, Jacada makes the transition from the menus to a live agent easier than in a traditional customer service setting. Any information about the customer already entered into the system, including name, account number, and nature of the problem, as well as any steps already taken in the troubleshooting process are supplied to the agent. Therefore, when the switchover from self-service to live chat is made, everybody is already on the same page. This eliminates the need to repeat or explain anything, and reduces call times. If an agent isn't available to take the call, customers are supplied with accurate wait times, or have the option of scheduling a call-back at their convenience.
Jacada Mobile Agent can also help to more efficiently route calls. Research by Ventana on contact center technology revealed that for the most part companies use data collected through IVR to route customer calls to the agent best suited to handle the problem. However, most of these IVR systems were not set up properly. The information about the customer taken from the Jacada application, including their stage in the problem solving process can better connect them with the agent that will solve their problem the quickest.
Jacada's new application remains in beta testing but will most likely be available later in the year.
Other companies have also jumped on the customer service via smartphone idea, including Genesys (News - Alert), who released a similarprogram in April. There is some skepticism, as IVR and Web-based self-service solutions have not yet found their mark. However some feel that the recent prevalence of smartphone apps could drive the concept forward.
Richard Snow of Ventana Research commented, "…the popularity of mobile apps could make a difference. I predict that if companies use these tools to design mobile self-service apps with customers in mind, the apps could become popular with consumers and help organizations meet their operational and business goals.”