How Large Corporates Use Apps to Provide Customer Service - OSE

How do you spend the majority of your time online? Chances are it’s not sitting behind a desk. Mobile use now takes up two out of every three digital media minutes according to this report by comScore. With 58% of Internet users spending the majority of their time online using mobile apps, have you stopped to ask yourself whether a mobile app is what your business needs?

With this in mind, as our smartphone use continues to grow, app development has significantly increased to meet the demand. Large corporates are investing heavily in the mobile apps space with the goal of developing a stronger connection with their customers. Here are just some of the ways leading companies are using mobile apps to provide better customer service.

1. Using purpose-built apps to meet specific customer needs

Smart companies use apps to influence the way customers interact with their products and services. In the early days, large corporates tended to focus on developing enterprise mobile apps to manage their workforce and streamline crucial business processes. As technology has advanced and app development has boomed, companies have now started using apps to improve their customer service capability.

For customers, interaction on mobile is quick, easy to use, and available on demand. There are no restrictions on location, opening hours, or any need to wait in queues. For companies, customer information can be updated immediately, significantly reducing errors, whilst saving time with manual data entry. Mobile apps are being used by large corporates to assign tasks, follow up on sales leads, product queries, and attend to help requests more rapidly. Modern day mobile apps are a win-win for customers and companies alike.

2. Ability for customers to interact with specialist staff on-the-go

Many businesses over time have used OSE’s app development services to bring their staff and customers closer together. This has often involved conceiving new ways for customers to interact with specialist staff on-the-go, with advancements such as virtual assistants on-trend at present.

While it used to feel weird calling on Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant for help, we’re all getting more used to speaking to virtual assistants. Major coffee chain Starbucks has just unveiled a new app that allows customers to order and pay ahead using voice commands. The virtual barista will take your order, including any special or personalised requests, and confirm when it will be ready. So whether you need personalised advice from your accountant, or want to order your coffee just the way you like it, the options for companies to ensure their services are more readily available are limitless.

3. Information at your fingertips, 24/7

Many of the biggest changes we’ve seen in how businesses operate in the digital era stem from the need to make personalised customer information more readily available. With customers expecting to be able to access their personal information anytime, anywhere, it’s crucial that businesses meet this demand to stay competitive.

By using cloud technologies such as Amazon Web Services, large corporates have been able to develop user friendly means of accessing information via mobile apps. This has enabled real time updates and access to information such as logging into our bank accounts, checking timetables, and keeping up with cricket scores.

By provisioning real-time access to information, leaders in the online communications space have been able to differentiate themselves from their competitors, grow their customer base through a variety of digital metrics and services, all which come from a result of providing carefully crafted apps to their customer base.

4. Putting photos and video in the picture

The best apps continually evolve in response to how we use technology. The camera is the most commonly used tool on smartphones, so it makes sense for companies to build photo and video capabilities into their apps.

Take insurance companies for example. A customer who wants to make a claim can now download the company’s claims app, enter all their details, add photos or video to support their claim and upload it immediately for assessment. This way the company has access to all the information they need to work out the next steps required as part of the claim process; and the customer benefits from a faster, more streamlined claims process.

5. Best-in-market customer service

The ultimate aim for customer focused apps is to ensure customers feel as though they are part of something bigger, with apps offering several ways to make this connection.

These days companies are using apps to develop online communities centred around a common interest or lifestyle goal (e.g. health and wellbeing, nutrition and fitness). Apps in this space provide community members with access to information and advice, discussion boards, member deals and other benefits. In return customers reap the benefits and build trust and loyalty around their brand.

The insurance example is also relevant here. This type of app allows companies to offer and promote best-in-market service levels. After using an app to submit an insurance claim, customers can log on to monitor their progress, make bookings or changes to an assessment time, pay their excess, and submit documentation. In this case customers feel rewarded because they can see progress being made based on the input they’ve provided.

6. Not investing in apps is a bad for customers

The time has passed for large corporates (or small ones for that matter) to stick their head in the sand when it comes to investing in mobile apps. Regardless of the industry, customers are asking businesses to think carefully about their customer service objectives and how an online customer service app could help. This process is more complex than jumping into the App store or Google Play and following what everyone else is doing, so take the time to review your strategy carefully.

If you’re curious about app development for your business, get in touch with OSE to find out how we can assist you to improve your customer service by implementing a mobile application.