Sky has recently launched a new app to help their customers manage the most frequently used services linked to their TV subscription directly from their phone. Customers with the app can manage their bill, schedule engineer visits, and manage processes such as recording requests.
This emphasises the importance of understanding the move towards a multichannel customer service environment. Apps are certainly going to grow in significance for customer service in coming years. Customers find apps very easy to use – they are immediately available on the phone once installed and can be accessed in seconds.
Even if the functionality a company offers on an app is all available on their website, the experience is very different. How many times have you tried to login to your customer account on a website only to experience difficulties and then give up?
Though the Sky app is linked to a TV subscription, many other types of service are suitable for support via an app; online banking, credit cards, mobile phone contracts. All could be more easily managed online if an app offers an easy wrapper to the service, rather than relying on customers to login via a website.
And this automation will change the way customer service is provided in general. Customers are adopting new channels – such as apps – and expecting brands to offer these choices. All this self-service does mean that customers can often resolve their own service problems and this does deflect contact away from the traditional support channels of voice, email, and chat, but it requires planning to ensure that all the supported channels fit together as part of a coherent customer service strategy.
Some customers will still call. Some will prefer to only ever use an app. Smart customer service leaders will ensure that their brand offers customers all the channels and the best possible experience regardless of which channel the customer prefers.
Photo by Sarah Barker licensed under Creative Commons