As mobile apps become the interface of choice for customers when engaging with their favourite brands, firms face the problem of how to resolve issues quickly.
To date apps haven’t been able to do this effectively, so users have been sent back to a website or asked to call to resolve the issue they are experiencing.
But, according to a leading provider of customer support software, this experience won’t wash in a world in which people want problems solved quickly and immediately.
Zendesk, which counts some leading travel brands like Expedia among its customer base, expects to see growth driven by its recently launched embeddable solution.
This allows technology to be embedded within the app so that customer services resources like Frequently Asked Questions or Live Chat are within the app itself.
Andy Sommer, senior manager international communications at Zendesk, said: “One of the big trends in customer service has been to reduce effort.
“As a customer all you want if you’ve got an issue is to get it sorted out.
“If you’re in an app and something goes wrong the last thing you want to do is leave it to go online or call customer service.
“With embeddables you can offer the full customer service experience within the app and this can reduce the level of inbound calls.”
Sommer added the other advantage is that the information available can be constantly updated to take account of changes in the market and other variables.
And as wearables become ever more ubiquitous, this ability to interact seamlessly and simply with apps will become more important, said Sommer.
“Over time apps are becoming the only connection between the business and the customer and if it’s an ugly experience they will be put off.
Zendesk, which became a publically listed company on the New York Stock Exchange last year, is understandably talking up customer service as a key differentiator.
“Most businesses see it as a cost, but it can also be an opportunity if it’s done well. The single biggest way to enhance customer loyalty is to reduce effort,” said Sommer.
“Not enough businesses give enough attention to customer service and the travel industry is so highly reliant on that relationship with the customer.”
The best exponents of customer service are also using technology to anticipate further issues the customer may face and offer solutions beforehand, said Sommer.
For instance a mobile user engaging through embeddable technology potentially provides the company with a lot of useful information.
A customer service operative can see if the user is on an old version of the app or even if they have enough battery power left to download and update.
Last year Zendesk bought Singapore-based Live Chat specialist Zopim and it recently launched a Premium service aimed at enterprise clients needing more advanced Softward as a Service solution.Through Zopim, Zendesk has integrated with Facebook’s Business on Messenger Live Chat service.
Sommer said this opens up the possibility of making purchases through Like buttons on Facebook.
Two non-travel retailers in the fashion sector are currently trialling this.
Zendesk has also enabled messages left on Facebook to be turned into a customer service ‘ticket’ and for this to be seen and dealt with by the appropriate team.