Over the past few years, mobile channels have increasingly become a mainstay in many organizations customer service operations. The organizations that have implemented mobile strategies have literally bought into the nearly endless capacity and need for a mobile channel. Other organizations, looming on the outskirts of mobile implementation, view the mobile channel as a technological luxury (excessive, even, in some cases) and do not take the time to explore their mobile options or to listen to the needs of their customers.
For example, a few months back, a technology vendor, Salesforce, blog post highlighted an interview with VP of Product Marketing for Salesforce’s Service Cloud Tony Kavanagh about why mobile customer service is a must. Tony made great points about the uses and need for the mobile and social channels in this interview. As someone who has implemented a mobile strategy in the public sector, I wanted to weigh-in on this topic as well.
In my experience, our move to implement a mobile customer service strategy was a reaction to the lifestyle change of our customers. In recent years, more and more people have moved to a mobile lifestyle—saying goodbye to landlines and using phones for the Internet more than laptops. We saw our customers living on their phones more than anywhere else. This made the decision very easy. Why wouldn’t we offer a channel where our customers spend the most amount of time? Why wouldn’t we open a channel that our customers are more comfortable with using?
Another aspect of mobile customer service that was appealing was that mobile is more flexible than any of our traditional touch points. While IVRs are easily manipulated, call centers as a whole are robust bodies of technology; traditionally they are not readily versatile in lieu of a crisis. We found mobile to be a flexible channel that we can use to pump out instantaneous information as quickly as our customers needed it—wherever they were.
During his interview, Tony Kavanagh was asked: “Do you think that the balance of power is shifting from the business to the consumer? Why?” He answered that the power absolutely was shifting to the consumer and I couldn’t agree more. Customers, now more than ever, want to be empowered by self-service channels. They want easy-to-use portals, ready information and quick responses. A mobile strategy solves all of these problems: if designed correctly with the right technology, customers can have easy-to-access support, 24-hours a day from wherever they are. So far, it’s currently one the most empowering and leading customer service channel in today’s market place.
Rosetta Carrington Lue is the Chief Customer Service Officer and Senior Advisor to the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director. Follow Rosetta on Twitter @Rosettalue or visit her blog at www.rosettacarringtonlue.com