Mobile apps for financial services customers that can connect users to a live agent…great idea, right? Sure it is, in practice. It turns out that many financial services organizations that offer mobile apps could use a lot more practice.
According to a new study commissioned by self-service technology solutions provider Virtual Hold Technology (News - Alert) and carried out by The Adcom Group, 31 percent of users of smartphone financial apps say they have had to hang up due to long hold times before speaking to customer service to solve their problem. Other consumers experienced dropped calls, disconnections or were unable to reach a customer service representative at a convenient time.
The study investigated how customers engage with brands using smartphones. It took a close look at consumers who use mobile apps to perform a variety of tasks in real time, the problems they encountered in completing those tasks and the behavior that results.
"When customers experience a problem or a roadblock with an app, they have to make a decision whether to give up, try again later or look for help elsewhere," said Eric Camulli, VHT's vice president of marketing, in a statement about the new study. "Customers stranded in an app experience rising frustration, particularly when this experience is followed by delays in reaching customer service," he added.
Most of the time, Camulli explained, these dead ends -- situations where app users encounter a problem they are unable to solve -- force users to exit the app and call customer service, while others use text, chat or email to reach customer service.
As with any new media channel offered to consumers, companies should never implement a channel they are not prepared to fully support to the same standards they support other channels such as traditional inbound telephone or Web chat.
Edited by Rich Steeves