Mobile-first brands understand that prioritizing customer convenience is the shortest path to increasing customer retention and loyalty. That's because consumers today expect everything to be intuitive and instant, and the slightest hiccup can result in churn or preference for a competitor.
Having a product that people want is obviously important. Where there is demand, however, there is more than one business wanting to seize the market. Optimizing convenience and having a great product solves for both sides of the equation.
There are several steps to reaching that optimal level of customer convenience. These steps can be achieved through different channels, but it's important to account for your full consumer base. First, find the right combination of integrated platforms (customer relationship management, in-app support, etc.). Then, each step of implementing those tools should be viewed through the lens of what the customer's experience looks like and how it feels. Remembering those two elements-intuitive and instant-can be the differentiating factor that makes a company stand out.
Convenience Starts with Letting Users Easily Help Themselves
Creating a fluid and flawless customer experience starts well before a customer needs an agent. Providing accessible, instant answers that are available 24/7 (even offline) is a crucial component to keeping customers happy. This includes making sure the FAQ base is up-to-date and accessible within the app.
Having a higher percentage of users who have "Read FAQs" compared to a much lower percentage of incoming issues or tickets is a great indicator of having the right user experience (UX), because it means that only a small percentage of users were unable to resolve it quickly, on their own.
An excellent example of a simple and seamless FAQ experience is Swiss ecommerce company DeinDeal. So far this month, only about 8 percent of users reported an issue after opening "help," while 37 percent successfully self-served through FAQs.
If at First They Don't Succeed, Do NOT Make Them Try, Try Again
For customers that can't find the answers to their questions via FAQs, reaching an agent and finding a solution should require as little effort as possible, preferably a one-click option within the app. Once customers do start a message thread, having a quick response time (especially for high-value customers) is vital.
Not every company is able to achieve an ideal time until first response. That's again where customer experience comes into play. When the experience allows customers to continue on with their daily business and not have to wait around for a response, that's true convenience. This is possible when messaging lives within an app so that the user can receive a push notification when the response comes in, and not have to wait around in a browser.
Going 'Full Circle' Matters for Companies of all Sizes
Slight percentage increases in overall customer satisfaction can have much larger implications for large companies. Microsoft's Outlook for mobile, for instance, responds to support tickets within eight minutes, on average, and has an average time to resolve of less than 24 hours. Those are great numbers at face value, and then considering that they've had more than 650,000 support tickets to respond to in that time period, it really is quite remarkable.
Getting to that level of customer satisfaction with a ticket volume of that magnitude is not an easy feat. It means that Outlook for mobile has kept the experience fluid, fast and personalized. It's all these little pieces that add up to 360 degrees of convenience, and a net result of increased lifetime value of customers.
About the Author
Tracy Oppenheimer is the senior content producer for in-app customer service startup, Helpshift. She produces written and video stories about CS tech today and where the industry is headed tomorrow. Follow the company on Twitter @Helpshift.