Brands falling short of mobile communication expectations

Brands aren't doing enough to meet their customers' expectations for mobile communication, according to a new survey.

The study, by web convergence company tyntec and technology research specialist Ovum, of 1000 people in the US and Germany finds that customers prefer to interact with customer service agents using different communication channels depending on where they are in the transaction process, and that they expect service providers to be effective using mobile.

New IP-based communication channels like OTT chat apps (over-the-top apps that bypass carrier charges for texting, WhatsApp for example) are identified as a significant untapped opportunity, with 50 per cent of survey respondents interested in communicating with service providers in this way.

"Brands that focus solely on developing their own mobile app for interacting with their customers may well become victims of app fatigue in that, no matter how rich an experience it provides, most consumers now need to be convinced to download yet another app," says Pamela Clark-Dickson, lead analyst, digital communications and social networking, Consumer Services at Ovum. "Brands should consider adopting an omni-channel strategy for customer care, which would enable them to use a mixture of communications services during each individual interaction with the consumer, including mobile messaging as well as apps".

Among other findings of the survey are that the top priorities for consumers are getting through to an agent quickly (80 per cent) and getting their query speedily resolved (74 per cent). While email and voice are still the most common communication channels, 56 per cent say they'd like to send an SMS to customer service agents on the same number used to call them. The reasons given for this are that it’s less time consuming (44 per cent) and more convenient (44 per cent).

The survey shows consumers are increasingly interested in using two-way SMS for appointment scheduling (53 per cent), order tracking (48 per cent) and providing feedback (43 per cent).

Already 18 per cent are interacting with customer services agents via a chat app, and 50 per cent would be open to being contacted in this way. Problem resolution and order tracking are are popular use case for chat apps.

You can find out more information in the full report available on the tyntec website.

Image Credit: Bevan Goldswain / Shutterstock