Trends on Tuesday: How Contact Centers are Adapting to the Mobile User

Apr 22, 2014
Smart phone navigation map

While it does provide challenges, anytime, anywhere digital government provides numerous opportunities for contact centers to do business more effectively.

According to this study by Compare Business Products, one of the most important impacts for contact centers is that smartphone users can now connect with contact centers via voice calls, SMS messages, Internet pages, social media video chat and native apps.

While mobile is changing user habits, the study states, “those contact centers that are able to embrace these channels and make it easy for customers to contact them through any of these at their whim will naturally be those that rise to the top of the pile and impress their customers.”

The report lists out specific ways contact centers can adapt to specific technologies and we point to examples where government agencies adopting strategies to build a better experience.

  • Native Apps These “allow customers greater opportunities for self-service, which in theory should cut down on the number of customer contacts made to the contact center.” Organizations have developed applications that allow rapid connection between the customer using the application and the contact center agent. In government, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs PTSD Coach allows users to quickly dial an emergency number to reach a contact anywhere on the application.

  • GPS “Provision of location and GPS information between company and customer can help customers to make faster, smarter decisions that impact their customer experience considerably.” A number of government apps use geolocation for in-person services. The U.S. Postal Service mobile app provides information on nearby postal facilities, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Dolphin and Whale 911 app has a ‘call to report’ button that uses the user’s GPS coordinates to connect them with the most appropriate local stranding response and organization.

  • SMS When implemented effectively, “SMS can cut back on the number of contacts that need to be made to the contact center.” At the same time however, in some cases contact centers are gaining new contact responsibilities such as notifications by text. There are a number of agencies in the federal government using SMS effectively.

The report highlights the fact that contact centers need to make sure that when they use these new mobile technologies the interactions create great mobile user experiences. Contact center managers in the federal government can use the Mobile User Experience Guidelines and Recommendations developed by the Mobile Gov Community of Practice to develop good mobile experiences.

While there are a lot of complex solutions, a good mobile user experience may sometimes be as simple as ensuring a user can easily access a phone number on a mobile website or app to make that traditional connection easy.