You are in a foreign country, getting ready to check out of your hotel and head to the airport but your credit card just stopped working. What are you going to do? If you are anything like me, you are frantically typing away on your phone, trying to reach your bank’s call center. Whether you are contacting them on Facebook, Twitter, email or live chat, you are on your smartphone, and your bank better respond.
With 55% of consumers’ customer service interactions starting online and 63% of adults using their smartphone several times a month to seek customer service, your mobile customer service tactics are more important than ever.
A strong mobile customer service strategy will not only help you avoid losing customers, it can help you gain new ones and impact the bottom line.
Think fast or drop the ball
When it comes to customer service, speed is key. If my credit card stops working, or if I am trying to find the gate to my flight, or if I just lost cell reception, I needed the response five minutes ago. When customers do get in touch, it’s important to act fast to get them the information they need. Forty-two percent of American shoppers complaining on social channels expect a brand to respond within the hour, and 57% expect the same level of timely customer service via social media at night and on the weekends as during business hours.
Customers, however, are not just looking for speedy responses. We’re accustomed to having all the information we need at our fingertips. According to Forrester, 55% of shoppers are likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t quickly find an answer to their question and 30% of users considering abandoning a purchase if a site is not mobile optimized, whether that’s on your website or via your social media platforms.
Make sure that doesn’t happen to you by thinking through potential questions your customers may have, and identifying any missing or incorrect information before customers need to reach out. Additionally, ensure your customer service contact info (whether that’s a contact form, email address or social media handle) are readily available on all mobile website pages. The fewer clicks we have to make to get the information we seek, the better!
Know your customer
Having a mobile optimized website is a perquisite to mobile customer service, so how can you take it a step further? Define what the mobile-friendly strategy looks like for your brand and customers.
Do you already have a large Facebook following? Consider pinning a customer service FAQ to the top of your page. Even better, consider creating textual, graphic or audio content about it and share it on both your website and social media account.
Is your audience active on Twitter? Weigh the pros and cons of investing in a full-time Twitter community manager who can respond to questions and complaints in real time. Do your customers prefer reaching out by email? Develop a company policy where all emails are answered within 24 hours. Additionally, invest in a newsletter that will keep your customers updated with what is happening in your world and periodically address issues your consumers face.
By catering to your audience’s preferences, they’re more likely to take advantage of your customer service methods – and more likely to complete their purchase.
Take advantage of existing technology
You know the best thing about providing exceptional mobile customer service? It doesn’t require that much of a financial investment.Don’t have the budget to invest in a paid customer service management tool? Don't worry, you can work existing, free technology into your customer service strategy instead.
Social media networks like Facebook are consistently developing new ways to connect the dots between their users and businesses, such as the new Messenger short links. They allow companies to interact with customers in real time to answer questions, receive feedback and provide exclusive discounts. The customizable Facebook Messenger short links can also be included on a mobile site, taking users directly to your brand’s Facebook mobile messaging app and reducing customer clicks. If properly utilized, Facebook Messenger short links can boost your customer service and streamline your online communication with customers. If not links, you can use Messenger Codes, similar to QR code that people can scan and get right to you inbox. Both Facebook and Twitter have recognized the ever-larger role these platforms play in customer service programs, and they are updating them accordingly.
An important thing to note is that mobile customer service platforms aren’t just for dissatisfied customers -- they can be used to thank customers who engage with your brand online, keep tabs on the conversation in your industry and generate new leads. Experiment with what works for your customer base and maximize your brand’s performance when it comes to mobile customer service.
An economist by education, Natasa Djukanovic is the sales and marketing director of Domain.ME, the international tech company that operates the internet domain ".ME." She's spent her entire career at the intersection of banking, social media, leadership and technology, and is constantly trying to figure out the secret to being in three different places at the same time.