Mobile Customer Service Apps Can Present Many Challenges

John Krautzel
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Businesses that want to venture into the mobile customer service apps space to improve customer contacts face many challenges in getting their customers to actually use these digital options. Although these apps offer several benefits, including a simpler way to make contact with businesses and less wait time, customers may be hesitant to leave the familiar behind. They're comfortable with personal contact with a real voice, and may not want to try something new.

Besides the unwillingness of customers to download and use customer service apps, businesses face additional challenges. Some assume that developing an app is a one-time thing. Once the app is finished, it's actually finished. But nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone with experience in software development knows that continuous revisions are needed to fix bugs, stay current with updates to operating systems and comply with new operating systems, and improve the customer service experience. An app may need new features, depending on how well it is or isn't working. Developing an app takes time, and it's a fluid process.

It's also very important that the customer service app is as ready to go as possible when it's launched for widespread use. The development phase is the best time to have people practice using it to test out its features and see how customer-friendly the app is and whether or not it streamlines the customer service process. Errors and bugs are bound to happen, but nothing sinks an app more quickly than negative reviews about its clunky interface or design flaws. The development phase also needs to take into account that people access apps with computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices. The app's performance needs to be consistent across all devices and work with all of these channels. Security and the protection of confidential data is another important factor businesses need to consider.

Mobile customer service apps are intended to solve problems with contact center experiences and streamline the process of helping people. An app that is difficult to use, takes a long time to download, is not easy to find in the app store, does not appeal to customers visually or is generally unable to solve a customer's problem does not serve its purpose. A customer service app can help businesses cultivate their relationships with customers and generate goodwill if developed and implemented properly.

When considering whether or not a customer service app is necessary for your business, discuss these many challenges with your team and dedicate enough time during the development phase to give your customers a new channel for contacting you that not only saves labor costs in your contact center but also keeps customers connected to you in a positive and constant way.

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