Customer Convenience Is The Bottom Line. Here’s Why (and How).

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A version of this post originally appeared on Website Magazine on June 30, 2017.

Mobile-first brands understand that prioritizing customer convenience is the shortest path to increasing customer retention and loyalty. That’s because consumers today expect everything to be intuitive and instant, and the slightest hiccup can result in churn or preference for a competitor. The average app loses 77 percent of its daily active users just within three days of install.

So how to beat the odds?

Having a product that people want is obviously important. But chances are that if there is demand, more than one business will want to seize the market, and optimizing convenience for the user alongside having a great product encompasses both sides of the equation.
There are several steps along the way towards reaching that optimal level of customer convenience though. These steps can be achieved through different channels, but it’s important to account for your full consumer-base. So finding the right combination of integrated platforms (CRM, in-app support, etc.) is the initial base to build upon. Next, each step of utilizing those tools should be viewed through the lens of what the customer’s experience looks like and how it feels, and remembering those two elements— intuitive and instant— can be the differentiating factor that can make a company stand out above the noise.

Convenience Starts with Letting Users Easily Help Themselves

Creating a fluid and flawless customer experience starts well before the point where a customer needs to reach out to an agent. Providing easily accessible instant answers that are available 24/7 (yes, that means even offline) is a crucial component to keeping customers happy. Ensuring that the FAQ base is up-to-date and accessible within the app, combined with that speedy, 24/7 access, will make getting help so convenient.
Here’s how to measure it. Having a higher percentage of users who have “Read FAQs” compared to a much lower percentage of incoming issues or tickets is a great indicator of having the right user experience, because it means that only a small percentage of users that had a problem were unable to resolve it quickly, on their own.
A good example to look towards in regards to the power of self-service is DeinDeal. So far this month, the Swiss e-commerce company (and Helpshift customer), only had about eight percent of users report an issue after opening “help”, as opposed to the 37 percent who successfully self-served through FAQs. DeinDeal prioritizes creating a simple and seamless FAQ experience, and it pays off.

If At First They Don’t Succeed, Do NOT Make Them Try, Try Again

For customers that can’t find the answers to their questions via FAQs, reaching an agent and finding a solution should require as little effort as possible. There should be a one-click option within the app to contact an agent. Once customers do start a message thread, having a quick response time (especially for high-value customers) is vital. The ideal response time is relative to different industries, so it’s good to be mindful of that when looking into specific use cases.
VCA care club app
Objectively though, VCA Care Club is an app that sets a high bar. There are few things that individuals care more about than their pets, and the VCA app allows veterinarians to message back and forth with owners about their pet’s health and wellness. The instant chat functionality, powered by Helpshift, makes it feel like the owners are having a normal texting thread with their friends because responses come quickly and conversationally.
The company’s SLA is 45 seconds until first response, and while the team has an average of about 40 seconds, agents often respond within 30 seconds or less. That’s probably even more fluid than a normal texting conversation with friends!

Completing the Customer Convenience and Experience Circle

Not every company is able to achieve such a high standard for time until first response, though, so that’s again where customer experience comes into play. When the experience allows customers to continue on with their daily business and not have to wait around for a response, that’s true convenience. This is possible when messaging lives within an app so that the user can receive a push notification when the response comes in, and not have to wait around in a browser.
Time to first response in isolation is not overly relevant either, as the agent then needs to follow through and efficiently resolve the issue. This can be measured by overall customer satisfaction (CSAT). VCA has that covered as well, with an average CSAT rating of 4.82 (out of 5) so far this month, much in part thanks to the app’s new chat functionality.
We know that improving metrics like ‘time to first response’ and ‘CSAT’ are good indicators of prioritizing customer experience. And having a good customer experience is immensely important to having a product that meets the level of convenience necessary to keep customers happy. But the circle goes the other way around too: having a support process that is convenient for customers also leads to better overall customer experience, and allows for the customer to quickly return to productively using the app.

Going ‘Full Circle’ Matters for Companies of all Sizes

…and the enterprise is no exception.

Slight percentage increases in CSAT or other metrics that might otherwise be overlooked for smaller companies can have much larger implications for large companies. Microsoft’s Outlook for mobile, for instance, has an average CSAT rating of 4.41 over the last three months. The team first responds to support tickets within eight minutes, on average, and has an average time to resolve of less than 24 hours. Those are great numbers at face value, and then considering that they’ve had more than 650,000 support tickets to respond to in that time period, it really is quite remarkable.

VCA care club app

Getting to that level of customer satisfaction with a ticket volume of that magnitude is not an easy feat. It means that Outlook for mobile has kept the experience fluid, fast, and personalized, and this is reflected with the app’s 4.5-star rating in the iTunes App Store. They’ve been able to do that much in part thanks to the advanced tagging and automatic data collection that is set up through the Helpshift SDK, in addition to their own in-house tricks of the trade. It’s all these little pieces that add up to 360 degrees of convenience, and a net result of increased lifetime value (LTV) of customers.

Boosting Convenience Shouldn’t Be An Inconvenience

Helpshift makes it easy for businesses to follow through on the full path to customer convenience. With a full suite of features like in-app messaging, fully native FAQs, and now a seamless integration with Salesforce Service Cloud, businesses can provide their mobile users with the ultimate service experience that matches today’s consumers expectations of convenience across the board.

Learn more today about how Helpshift for Salesforce Service Cloud is empowering brands to support their mobile customers with in-app chat.

Published July 6, 2017
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