How Apps Are Shaping Customer Service Expectations

There is much that has changed about the modern day consumer. Most people nowadays have come to look at mobile as a source of immediate answers and satisfaction - and mobile apps are no exception.

Mobile apps have the opportunity to give a rich experience to regular users and give businesses an advantage of putting a more extensive and interactive experience in the palm of their hands. In fact, such rich customer experiences are changing the way shoppers think of customer service and how they'll expect to do business with each and every brand. The following are some tips on how to use apps to be more direct, more interactive and more personal than ever before:

Create convenience for your customers

Modern customers want to access information through their phones with mobile apps, therefore businesses should create an app to allow customers to do this. Keep in mind that convenience is a key factor when it comes to what customers are looking to get from your app. Plan on using your app to provide convenient solutions to your customers.

Mobile apps can provide customers with instant access to company information like product reviews or product availability. They can also help them find the nearest location where they can pick up your products with maps to the store to help guide them like this example from Starbucks:

Some brands, like Target, take location information to the next level even showcasing maps inside the store to allow customers to easily find what they are looking for:

Get to know your customers

It is important that retailers are able to survey their customer base. This can entail occasionally sending short survey for feedback to get to know them better. With mobile surveys, everything is simple, quick and very effective. This lets the retailer receive valuable feedback to improve customer service. LeTote, for instance, is a clothing subscription for women and its app allows for feedback on the items sent as well the ability for a user to upload a picture of them wearing the item, allowing the company to learn about a person's preferences and improve the next shipment:

Additionally many customers are happy to provide you with demographic data and let you improve their user experience based on purchase history or other usage patterns. Mobile allows you to create personalized experiences that modern day consumers demand.

Let your customers reach you

Mobile is going to be a key component of the business world for the next several years, so expect businesses to leverage mobile communication channels to provide service and support to even greater number of their mobile customers.

Mobile is an ideal tool for this as customers enjoy having the option to email, call or chat with a brand about service and support issues. In fact, according to Gartner, 63 percent of American adults use their mobile device at least once a month for customer support. Further, 75 percent of those polled who are between the ages of 35 and 44 seek support more than once a month via their mobile device.

Another subscription service for women, Stitch Fix's personalized service lends itself well to an app that supports in-app messages.

Remember that to really succeed with your mobile app and create a positive experience for your customers, you need to account for the fact that people use their mobile devices for a wide range of activities, including social media, text messages, GPS navigation and more. Regardless of what a customer might need to do while on your app, whether it is learning about a product, processing a return or contacting customer or technical support, they should be able do it easily and feel positive about the experience afterwards. This type of strategy will distinguish companies from those who think mobile support is an afterthought.

Keep your customers informed

Often a company's customers will miss out on sales or promotions because the news reaches them too late, or not at all. To avoid such inconveniences, businesses can make sure that their mobile app notifies their customers of special sales or offers that are available. These offers work best if they are relevant to the customer's interests.

With mobile remember that you have every opportunity to put together a program allowing you to deliver personalized messaging relevant to each user. From content to ads to push notifications, you should be utilizing data to create programs that are relevant to each user. Take Sears for example, if a buy online, pick up in store customer has the mobile app and chooses in-vehicle pickup, they will get a countdown as to when their products will be delivered to their car:

Entice your customers

Traditionally, one of the best ways of engaging consumers has been through coupons. However, much has changed with the modern day consumer. Coupons have to be delivered based on each user's interests. The timing has to be also right. Take advantage of geo-locating and you hit the trifecta for an effective mobile coupon system. Customers appreciate learning about offers that save them money on products they are interested in purchasing.

Author Bio: Diwiyne Johnson works with Vanity Point, a mobile app design company based in Phoenix. She has a deep rooted obsession for content writing and loves to read technology books. In her free time, she writes articles and shares new updates through various social media channels. You can follow her on twitter @DiwiyneJohnson.