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Providing Customer Experience on the Go Via Mobile Applications

Organizations Must Weigh Responsiveness and Convenience Against the Potential for Agent Distractions

The News:

UJET announced the release of its Agent Mobile App, making it the latest CCaaS vendor to create a tool to let customer service or sales agents interact with and respond to customers while not sitting in an office or in front of a computer. Indeed, vendors such as Five9, Genesys, Salesforce, Zendesk, Zoho, and other providers of cloud-based contact center software have created mobile apps that can run on iOS or Android devices, providing any agent with the ability to deliver sales, service, or support from wherever they are, so long as they are connected to the internet.

Providing Customer Experience on the Go Via Mobile Applications

Analyst Take:

Customer-focused mobile apps have become table stakes for organizations that want to remain relevant to customers, and CX strategies must ensure that mobile experience will mirror the experience they enjoy through any other channel. And as mobile apps have increasingly been rolled out for business functions, CX vendors are creating mobile apps that can allow sales, customer service, or support agents to interact with prospects or customers from their smartphones or tablets. Designed to mirror the functionality of desktop-based interfaces, these mobile apps let agents handle tasks such as interacting with customers via multiple channels, organizing and triaging support requests, marking and sending cases that need to be escalated, or connecting with other agents, specialists, or supervisors.

The impetus for the development of mobile apps stems from the shifting nature of contact center work to a distributed workforce model, which portends greater physical separation from other agents, the use of remote tools to manage interactions, and the possibility of flexible schedules and working hours.

Balancing Convenience Against Possible Agent Distractions

The use of mobile apps to conduct customer interactions can provide several benefits to both workers and the companies that employ them. Customers increasingly are demanding support beyond traditional work hours, and organizations that provide employees with the ability to interact with customers via a mobile app can extend the availability of workers to meet these demands, without tying them to a desktop or laptop.

Further, both onsite and remote workers can provide immediate responses to customers, even if they are temporarily away from their computers or workstations. For example, a technical support representative could respond to an escalation request remotely while waiting at a doctor’s office or while in transit, ensuring an efficient and speedy response to the customer’s query.

However, the added convenience of using a mobile app must be balanced against potential distractions. Workers who use their mobile apps to conduct customer interactions may be doing so when they are focused on other personal activities, which may cause them to miss important details, make errors, or possibly rush the interaction to allow them to return to whatever they were previously doing. If the worker is trying to engage via voice, call quality may be impacted by background noise, and real-time digital interactions with customers or the data cloud may be compromised by shoddy Wi-Fi service or weak wireless broadband service.

Perhaps even more challenging is the ability to quickly read and take in all relevant customer and interaction information on a mobile device, as well as quickly and accurately respond, particularly if the exchange requires pulling data from multiple sources while also interacting with a colleague or supervisor.

Generative AI May Improve the Functionality and Efficacy of Mobile Agent Apps

That said, the growing use of generative AI tools to interact with customer data, support requests, and company information may make it easier to utilize mobile apps. It is likely that as generative AI tools migrate into agent workflows, they will be ported to or accessible through mobile apps, providing access to customer information, journeys, and responses in a more natural and friction-free way. The ability to quickly handle previously tedious tasks via generative AI tools, such as call summarizations or looking up specific product information, will ensure that the limited screen real estate and more constrained input do not hinder the interaction.

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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