Since the opening of the first business and to the modern business world dominated by large multinational corporations with millions of small- and medium-sized businesses in between, one thing has not changed: putting the customer first. Even when we were talking of a product-centric marketing world, companies still developed and marketed their wares to suit the customers’ taste, to satisfy their needs and to solve their problems.
As the business world progressed, so did the customers’ expectations in relation to the businesses they buy products and services from. There is no secret that companies collect customer data, so customers expect to be addressed and served in a personal and customized manner, taking into account their preferences, and their willingness and availability to connect with the respective business.
This requires a lot of work from companies, including hiring dedicated staff for customer service. In the context of the ongoing economic crisis, which forces businesses to downsize and cut their costs, it seems that they have to choose between having happy customers at a high price, or risk losing them in the attempt of staying profitable.
Actually, this is not the case – at least these two are no longer the only available options for companies. Mobile apps are now a powerful marketing tool and, used correctly, can become a valuable customer service tool. The technology is advanced enough to allow your business to build a mobile app which can do the following:
1. Allow Customers to Track Their Orders
Whenever a customer orders a product which is not in the physical stock of your store, there is an inevitable waiting period. Even if it only takes a few days until you receive the respective product from a central warehouse, you should not leave the customer waiting and wondering what has happened to their order and when they will receive it.
A simple functionality added to your mobile app, similar to those used by courier services, can help customers view the status of their order in real time and know exactly when they are supposed to be at home to receive the delivery.
2. Handle Complaints
An angry customer is a force to reckon with. And customers usually become angered after they have tried and failed to get through to your customer service department to file a complaint or try to solve a problem. Call centers are expensive and many companies still rely on the call-in-waiting procedure, where calls queue and are taken one by one by a few employees. The usual outcome of such situations is that the client stops doing business with the company and may even take their anger to social media, giving your company a negative review.
Things could have a completely different outcome if the customer could access the mobile app, type in the complaint or issue, and receive a notification that it has been received by the business and is being dealt with.
3. Product Registration and Extended Support
When people purchase large home appliances, such as a washing machine or a TV, they are entitled to various benefits after they register the serial number of their purchase: they can opt for extended warranty for an extra fee, and they can receive various informative materials which help them to care for their appliance and get the most out of it.
Usually, people have to go to your website, create a user profile and then remember to check their email to validate the registration and receive the product care information. This sounds time consuming for most people nowadays. It would be so much simpler if they could do all these things through a single mobile app which saves their login details and keeps all relevant information stored in one place.
4. Meaningful Customer Service Interactions during the Holidays
The holidays are special times of the year when everyone wants to be with their loved ones, and even companies take a break from the daily grind. What happens when a customer has a problem exactly during those days? In the best case scenario, there are a few unhappy employees on duty who may not be fully qualified to offer help. In the worst case scenario, the customer simply has to wait and report the issue when the holidays are over.
With the automation brought by mobile apps, the customer either sends a message which receives a ticket number and a specific date when it will be dealt with, or finds helpful troubleshooting tips which may solve the problem.
Thus, your company can stay on top of its game and manage to deal with any issues related to customer service in any circumstances. For customers, knowing that help is just one tap away represents a major boost in their confidence and loyalty to a company, and will reflect in ongoing purchases and positive online reviews.