Unfortunately adding a mobile channel to your existing customer service options is not as easy as reformatting your existing chat to be “mobile optimized.” Mobile consumers today expect customer service that is native and conversational—and the best way to exceed their expectations is by providing messaging right within your brand’s mobile app.
Most customer service providers offer some form of a mobile channel as an “add-on,” but more often than not, this option is really more of an afterthought and does not map to a great user experience. Helpshift has been a mobile-first customer service platform since day one, and has seen everything the mobile customer service market has had to offer over the years. The technology has indeed evolved significantly, so these are the four most important considerations to take into account when evaluating a mobile chat integration today.
1. Find one SDK that can handle everything.
You want your in-app SDK to be able to handle your mobile knowledge base, asynchronous messaging, and live chat—together. It should be a unified, seamless experience on the front end, while your support team operates out of one workspace on the backend. Agents should be able to easily view and switch between those tickets that require a live response and those that do not. Having one SDK that does it all just makes the mobile channel simpler and cleaner for all parties involved.
2. Ensure that the end user experience feels conversational.
Mobile consumers want the customer support experience to feel familiar—and what is familiar today is an experience similar to iMessage or WhatsApp. That means that the message thread with a customer service agent needs elements such as typing awareness indicators and read receipts. Both the agent and customer should be able to easily embed images into the conversation, and revert to the thread at a later date.
3. Check for built-in capabilities like chatbots and notifications.
Not every brand requires extra capabilities like chatbots and push or in-app notifications. But for those brands that may be looking to scale their operations or massively increase efficiency, it’s important that these functions are included with the SDK. Chatbots can be a great tool for providing instant answers and collecting routine information from customers so that agents can resolve tickets faster. Notifications are likewise important to let customers know when an agent has responded. This allows the conversation to continue and ensure that the issue is resolved as soon as possible.
4. Evaluate how much development work will be needed both upfront and for maintenance.
A third party solution should ideally not require any developers. The SDK should be easy to configure and customize, and work seamlessly with the existing platform. You want to be able to get started quickly and not have too many growing pains. But if the solution does require developers, make sure that you’ll have the resources available both for on-boarding and ongoing maintenance.