There seems to be a consensus at the International Customer Management Institute, ICMI expo and conference in Orlando this week that out of all the changes in the market, explosive growth of mobile offers the greatest opportunity.
Nemertes Research Analyst, Lisa Durant agrees there is a dramatic evolution in the industry, as mobile interaction continues its explosive growth as contact method. Durant points out that whether one makes a voice call to contact center, transacts online or engages via social media, user is most likely on the mobile device.
In an interview in Orlando this week Durant pointed out: “Even if the website is not optimized for mobile device, it impacts the user experience. When it comes to mobile app, whether or not you have your contact center involved impacts your user experience. Mobile apps are developed and managed by groups outside centers but it impacts customer experience and center center metrics”
Participants and speakers at ICMI do not seem to have a standard definition of mobile customer care. Many consider mobile to be just another device to support or another channel into the contact center. Durant takes a broader view of mobile customer care, which includes any interaction provided to customer with using a mobile device.
“A voice call, SMS, visual IVR, mobile web, mobile app, video and any other functionality are all initiated from the mobile device,” Durant points out.
Dennis Crumb, President of optimalCX solutions calls it a “mobile moment.” Claiming more than fifty percent of a company’s interaction with their customer involves mobile devices.
Crumb believes “channel surfing” is the key trend to watch. A user “may start an interaction on a website, make a phone call to discuss and may complete the transaction in-app,” and expect company to provide seem less transition through different channels.
Despite the explosive growth in mobile, businesses that include contact center functionality in their mobile apps offer only rudimentary services, like connecting from the mobile device to the front-end of the call center via a toll-free call.
Participants at ICMI believe that rapid adoption by consumers will soon disrupt the contact center, as we know it. This new contact center will shift control of the service experience, and those businesses that can act more quickly will have an advantage over those that lag behind.
While mobile is undoubtedly the preference, users want outcomes. A continuous and effortless transition between channels is a crucial competitive differentiator in the age of the consumer. “Channel surfing” defines the omnichannel experience.
“Companies should determine,” Crumb says, “the impact that each new interaction path may have on the business.” He believes contact centers should focus on developing personalized and integrated customer journeys.
Crumb points out that goes through different steps, or “journey,” as they interact with a business. “These steps will vary by company, what customers are trying to accomplish, and when in the customer lifecycle the engagement occurs.”