Seven years ago, I graduated high school. That night with the whole world in front of us, Crandall High School's Class of 2007, we were severed from it by those hideous black gowns. Seriously, it was impossible to get pocket access and it was devastating.
As wise 18-year-olds, we knew we were living in the golden age of mobile technology and with the complete freedom to text, clunkily update our Facebook and rearrange our Myspace top 8 without fear of teachers or principals intervention so very near, it was excruciating to sit and suffer completely disconnected.
Looking back, it seems trivial to miss that Samsung flip-phone. But this was a far different age. The iPhone was a month from launching, Android was a secret project in the bowels of Mountain View to be announced three months later, you were using a Blackberry, and Bill Gates was the only person in the world actually operating a Tablet.
Put it simply, things changed. This week across the country, there are graduates running their businesses from their smart phones while waiting to scoop their diplomas. Some morph down time into efficient bursts of productivity, solving their customers' issues from Zoho Support's mobile app (available to all you cool kids for Android and iOS).
To honor the mobile revolution of the last seven years, here are seven benefits mobile customer service can unlock for you, your agents and your customers.
1. Answers in a Snapchat instant
It's 9:45 p.m. and a customer needs to update their billing information so they can place a last-minute order for a trade show. They need it taken care of in the next 15 minutes, or it is off to your competitor, 24/7 Goliath. But because you received a notification instantly on your phone, you were able to update the customers' details and process without missing a beat(ing) of "Game of Thrones." Ephemeral attention, meet long-lasting results for your company.
2. Give agents the freedom to thrive
You trust your agents, now give them the tools to answer tickets from anywhere and you can write that book you've always wanted to on your new "win-win-win-win technique." Your agents smile because they are watching their kids laugh while they play on a beautiful afternoon, while answering customers' questions and bring them the happiness they deserve. You even smile, miraculously, while traveling, because you're tuned into the pulse of your customer service from your phone and it is a beautifully, happy rhythm. Win-win-win-win. If only your upgrade would have cleared.
3. Happier agents deliver happier customers
(Credit: Tucson Citizen)
Because your agents aren't locked into call-center-cubicle-incarceration (Arizona has that covered), they can personally ensure they're continually in the optimal location (and mood) to delight your customers.
With the flexibility to adapt as their needs change, agents can maintain their energy, engagement and empathy at the high levels needed to consistently wow customers. Trust me, your customers will be able to tell the difference and I promise they will not shut up about it.
4. A team without borders: finding, keeping and localizing the best
Awesome customer service is born with a commitment to hiring and retaining awesome employees. With rock-solid mobile and cloud customer service apps there is no reason to limit your search for world-class customer servants to where you are physically located. Instead, unsource your team.
Regardless of your size or industry, you can find great people to help your customers by searching for the exact qualities, background and values you know make-up the recipe for delighting your customers.
Already have an awesome team? Keep 'em by giving them the freedom to live and work wherever they want to. Moving into a new market? Skip the lease and focus on finding the right people who best understand and communicate with that area. Because with the right people and a few mobile devices, you now have a completely localized contact center.
5. The unofficial customer support department
When I ask my entrepreneur friends about their customer service departments and the problems they face, they laugh. Right in my face.
Like many small and micro businesses, my buddies don't have a dedicated customer service department. They chuckle while saying, "I am customer service."
Every business can have a cutting-edge customer service department when everywhere-access to your customer's data and the ability to handle their ever-changing needs across channels fits in your pocket.
6. Easily extend coverage
Just the thought of extending customer service hours spiked your blood pressure. But breathe deep (and easy), because simply adding customer support apps on your team's mobile devices can drastically and easily extend your coverage. If your customers happen to need you, you have the ability to respond, without being tethered to the wall waiting for their call. And while you might need to stagger your schedule, it won't cost you a bit more.
7. All hands on deck
Embrace what beloved companies already understand: customer service isn't a department, it is a culture. While cloud-based customer support software has already revolutionized organizations' ability to connect and wow their customers. Easy and instant access to this functionality in an intuitive mobile app, Zoho Support takes the next step. This is a tool everyone on your team can use to help delight customers in their own, very special way. Seriously, if you get swamped seasonally or face an emergency have everyone at your company chip in with customer support.
Or just assign and send your CEO a few tickets a week. Since there is no need to login into a system to help out, you can get everyone bought into a truly customer-centric culture.
Elevate your customer service by thinking smaller, and let me know how going mobile has changed things for you. Because tethered customer service is so... 2007.