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Digital Engagement Blog

Mobile Customer Care Defined

Mobile Customer CareThere has been a lot of talk these days about mobile customer care or mobile customer service.  But what is it and why is it important?

Three years ago we started to investigate how care was provided by an enterprise to their customers who where on their mobile phones.   So we decided to ask the big industry analyst firms about mobile customer care.

When we asked the contact center analysts they told us to go talk to the mobile analysts.  When I asked the mobile analysts they said go talk to the contact center analysts. When I returned to the contact center analysts, they said "Hmmm. Maybe the CRM analysts might know something about that."  Until recently, mobile customer care wasn't a discrete area of focus for the major analysts. 

And three years ago customer service mobile applications weren’t on the map as more companies focused primarily on their mobile marketing, sales, and eCommerce mobility strategies.  But now enterprise mobility has matured and companies (and analysts) are starting to raise it up in priority.

Gartner now forecasts that “by 2017, 35% of all customer support will take place on a mobile device — an increase of 300% over 2014.” (Source: The Five CRM Customer Engagement Technologies to Focus On Through 2020, Gartner, 08 March 2016)

Definition of Mobile Customer Care

Over the past three years, we’ve evolved how we view and define the mobile custoMobile Customer Care and the Contact Centermer care problem. 

There is no standard definition of mobile customer care.  Many vendors and companies tend to think mobile customer care is the use of mobile functionality such as chat, messaging, video, voice calls, context and self-service to provide the customer “servicing” functionality. We started out thinking this way as well.  But that is a very broad definition.  So anything coming from a mobile phone is mobile customer care, right?

Not really.  But that is how the industry is talking even today.  Access an IVR from a mobile phone, and that's mobile customer care by some definitions. Yuck.

As a side note, we operate a large cloud-based IVR service that receives well over a billion calls a year.  About 70% of those calls originate on mobile phones.

Mobile customer care is much more than slapping some features into mobile and using the same old processes.

Here are three top functions of mobile customer care needs to truly align to the customer:

  • Engagement throughout the journey
  • Supported across all digital interactions (with mobile as first and foremost)
  • Matches customers expectations and behaviors

The customer wants engagement, not care.

MCC3.pngMobile customer care is about deeply engaging the customer at any point in their journey where they might need help, information or where the customer’s effort can be reduced.   Servicing can be done at any point in the buyer journey, not just post sale.  Servicing can include sales, acquisition, ecommerce, product education, product use, customer service, help desk, etc. Servicing should work hand-in-glove with other functions.

We need to consider a definition of mobile customer care that is about engagement at any step more than discrete care.

The customer is digital, not mobile.

The mobile customer is also building a digital mesh of devices around them to help get things done.  Mobile care must be able to seamlessly span devices and modes. If you just look at mobile you will create gaps in the customer’s journey. 

We need to consider a definition of mobile customer care that includes all digital interactions.

The customer lives in micro-moments, not big blocks of committed time. 

Digital consumers use queues to manage jobs as they live in micro-momentsIf we just port existing customer care processes onto mobile, we get a really bad fit and experience. Existing servicing processes and tools require significant time and effort commitment to get a job done.  Customers expect mobile to be different: They expect to get what they want in their immediate context and moment of need.

We need to consider a definition of mobile customer care that can operate in a fast moving, deeply contextual environment.  Mobile customer care needs to be agile and super smart. 

Mobile Customer Care is Smart, Agile Digital Engagement

Our vision is that digital customer engagement (AKA mobile customer care) will be a tool to transform industries and create competitive advantage. So when we think about Mobile Customer Care what we really think about is Smart, Agile Digital Engagement.

Why mobile customer care is important

Gartner says that “through 2017, 80% of enterprises will not achieve competitive advantage through their mobile strategies due to poor customer service.” (Source: Improve Mobile Customer Service to Improve the Customer Experience, Gartner, 22 May 2015)

Gartner is saying mobile customer care is a cornerstone in your digital strategy. How are you talking about mobile customer care at a strategic level?  Comment on this post and let us know. 

Read about the Mobile Engagement Vendor Landscape >

We can help you leverage mobile customer care and digital customer engagement to  gain competitive advantage.  Follow our blog to learn more.

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Topics: Customer Care Mobile Engagement