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Mobile Self-Service: The New Lynchpin of Customer Engagement

Just how important is it to deliver an exceptional customer experience in the mobile channel today? The data tells the entire story. Here are 7 revealing statistics that show why it’s more important than ever for companies to get self-service right in the mobile channel, followed by 4 best practice tips for delivering a world class mobile customer experience.


Virtually EVERYONE is a mobile customer now

Today it is no exaggeration to say the world has truly gone mobile. Speaking at the latest Web 2.0 Summit, venture capitalist and “Queen of the Net” Mary Meeker said 85% of the world’s population now has mobile coverage. It’s a staggering statistic considering only 80% of the population is on an electrical grid!1 The desire to stay connected on the go is also evidenced by the rapid growth of the digital tablet market, with tablet sales predicted to outpace PC sales by 2015.2 85 % of the world’s population now has mobile coverage


Mobile consumers want to self-serve on their devices

Although customer service industry surveys have shown that today’s customers largely prefer to self-serve online versus call into a contact center, many organizations still hold the erroneous belief that, “Our customers prefer to call us when they have a customer service issue.” It’s now very dangerous to ignore consumer service preferences in the mobile channel. 50% of smartphone users prefer to use a mobile customer service application for resolving their issue before calling into the contact center.3

50% of smartphone users prefer to self-serve on their device


More consumers want the best possible mobile experiences

2011 2010


The insatiable appetite for mobile content consumption continues to grow. In the US, yearover-year growth of mobile 3G subscribers for 2011 Q4 was 31%. (Global growth was even higher at 37%). The growth shows that consumers continue to place a very high priority on technologies that enable better mobile experiences online, even in the midst of a soft economy and low consumer confidence numbers throughout 2011.4



3G subscriptions exploded with YoY growth of 31% for 2011 Q4




A negative mobile experience has a damaging impact on sales

If your mobile customer service options fail to satisfy a customer who is intent on making a purchase from you, don’t assume the customer will simply enter another channel to complete the sale. The truth is, it’s more likely the purchase will be abandoned altogether. 63% percent of online adults say they’re less likely to buy from the same company via other purchase channels if they experienced a problem with a transaction or getting information via their mobile phones.5

63% of consumers will not complete the sale after a problem in the mobile channel Most companies have already committed to a mobile strategy


More companies are now readying their mobile strategy

According to Forrester, “The vast majority of consumer-facing corporations have mobile services or have plans to deploy them.” The percentage of executives who do not have a mobile strategy or are just at the early stages of defining theirs dropped from 57% in Q3 2011 to 31% in Q4 2011. This 26% drop in just over a year means your competitors are likely to roll out a mobile strategy sooner than later, if they have not already.6


Improving the mobile customer experience is now a top strategic objective

The pursuit of revenue is actually not the main driver of mobile strategy at most companies. In a Forrester Research survey of executives in 2012, the top objectives for developing mobile services were increasing customer engagement (53%) and increasing customer satisfaction (39%).7 Incremental revenue goals ranked lower on the list, indicating that companies have become aware that improving the customer experience in the mobile channel is a high-value investment.8 Creating a better customer experience is the main driver for mobile strategy


Many companies still have not got the mobile experience right

While an increased focused on mobile strategy is a step in the right direction, execution needs to happen faster. The current reality is that the majority of consumers are not satisfied with their mobile experiences. A whopping 84% of US adults who have conducted an online transaction through a mobile device in the last year report experiencing a problem.9 More than 8 out of 10 consumers encounter problems during their mobile experience



What Does a World-Class Mobile Self-Service Experience Look Like?

1) Your customer types in a question.

2) The one right answer is instantly provided on the next screen.

The IntelliResponse Enterprise Virtual Agent mobile deployment, shown above, allows a customer to key any question into a large question box. The one right answer is then instantly provided on the next screen – regardless of how the question was phrased. Customer service questions are resolved in seconds, with no additional scrolling or searching required. This results in a highly satisfying customer experience, and introduces the opportunity to provide more information that can encourage or support purchase decisions.

Free Tool: Measure Your Online Self-Service
Have can you objectively rate the performance of your online self-service features? A quantitative assessment of your entire online self-service performance will finally give you objective analysis you need. The FREE Online Self-Service Assessment Survey created by Forrester and IntelliResponse is vendor-agnostic methodology you can use for scoring your site’s performance and charting a path for improvement. Book your FREE evaluation of your organization’s web self-service capabilities by sending an email to

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What Can You Do About It?
Organizations interested in getting mobile customer service right need to first understand best practices for deploying an online selfservice solution in the mobile channel. We recommend optimizing your mobile strategy by considering the following: 1. Make efficiency, accuracy and simplicity the guiding principles of your mobile customer service experience Any amount of perceived inconvenience online is no longer tolerated by consumers. And it’s tolerated even less so on smaller mobile devices. Ensure that your mobile self-service solution avoids these inconveniences: •Search results that return multiple links/options pages, and beget additional searching, clicking or navigation beyond the initial query •Navigating through Frequently Asked Questions •Too much choice in the number of links presented per screen •Any amount of scrolling beyond just a few screen’s length of content 2. Insist on self-service vendor technologies that deliver value beyond the obvious customer service benefits As Forrester points out, “mobile initiatives are no longer being driven by a single individual or team. Every brand, division, and functional group wants to tap into the potential of mobile to engage with its customers. Organizations will need a strategic approach to building and spreading institutional knowledge.” Mobile technologies such as enterprise virtual agents can collect customer insight data from mobile transactions in real time and provide the kind of key consumer insight that is often only available through focus groups. This data can be used by communications, marketing, product marketing, sales, ecommerce and other functional areas to enhance performance in all areas. 3. Get moving now! Widespread consumer dissatisfaction with mobile web experiences highlights the urgent need for action. Companies that take too long to deploy technologies that enhance the mobile customer experience will lose market share to competitors who move quickly. Look to partner with an enterprise virtual agent vendor with an established track record for smooth and rapid implementation and the enterprise level. 4. Be ruthless – and objective – in evaluating your company’s mobile user experience today According to Forrester, “Having a mobile strategy and services is no longer enough. eBusiness professionals must focus on delivering phenomenal convenience, engaging customers 360 degrees throughout their journey, and transitioning from treating mobile as a channel to recognizing mobile as a core element of the broader business.” What does your current mobile experience offer to your customer? Is it a well-designed experience that supports your broader business goals? Or does it frustrate your customers and cause them to abandon their activity feeling disappointed?

Get a FREE evaluation of your web self-service capabilities
SOURCES: 2 3, 5, 9 4 6, 7, 8 “2012 Mobile Trends For eBusiness Professionals,” Forrester Research Inc., May 2012

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About IntelliResponse Systems IntelliResponse is the leading provider of virtual agent technology solutions for the enterprise. We create profitable online conversations for our private and public sector customers around the world. With our patented Enterprise Virtual Agent (EVA) solutions, corporate websites, mobile applications, social media channels and agent desktops can all be transformed by an engaging virtual concierge, empowering customers to ask questions using natural, conversational language and delivering an effective and engaging online experience. With more than 360 live customer-facing implementations answering 100 million+ questions annually, IntelliResponse is the gold standard in first line customer experience management. For more information about IntelliResponse, visit

To learn more about taking online self service to the next level for your customers, visit