You've spent the time and resources for building a great mobile app, and given yourself a big pat on the back. The hard work is done, you think, and you can sit back and let the benefits roll in.
If that's what you think, you're like most people. And if that's what you think, you're wrong --- dangerously wrong. Because you're ignoring one of the most important and most overlooked parts of the use of mobile apps: customer experience. Ignore it at your own peril. A report from Gartner, "Improve Mobile Customer Service to Improve the Customer Experience," warns "There is an immense gap between mobile adoption and successful customer service and support on the mobile device, which undermines enterprise strategies for mobile...Through 2017, 80% of enterprises will not achieve competitive advantage through their mobile strategies due to poor customer service."
The report found that enterprises believe they are providing far better mobile support than they really are. It warns "The enormous gap between customer preference for mobile transactions and the availability of adequate customer support on mobile will continue to undermine mobile strategies."
What Companies Can Do
Gartner says that there's a great deal that companies can do to improve their mobile customer service. But they shouldn't expect to do it overnight. Companies should put a three-year plan into effect, focusing first on basic help, and then moving to sophisticated, proactive help. Here are the five levels of customer support Gartner recommends building over the three years:
- Level 1: Basic services (not as complete as the website, but helpful)
- Level 2: As good as the website, and exploits mobile advantages such as push alerts
- Level 3: Increased engagement levels
- Level 4: Content delivered proactively
- Level 5: Prescriptive advice
Business should also survey and observe their customers to find out what problems they have, and where they need help. An important part of this is using mobile analytics to understand basics such as what isn't working in apps, how much time customers spend in apps, are customers happy and engaged with it, and so on. That will provide the best baseline and starting point for building the five levels of customer support.