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“It was once said that a person’s eyes are the windows to their soul. That was before people had cell phones.” These are the words of Blair Waldorf, the teenage Park Avenue princess of Gossip Girl, right before she steals her enemy’s cell phone. This was also a statement made in 2008.

Now, 2016: the smartphone may not be the window to the soul, but it’s definitely the window to behavior. Mobile devices are some of the richest repositories of customer data out there. Aside from the demographic data that your company gets whenever someone logs in, you also have the ability to collect and act upon unique device data– data about how and when the user interacts with your app.

But what is a window with nobody to look through it?

This is the conundrum your customer service reps are finding themselves in. They have data on how their customers are interacting with their app, but are unable to access this data in their time of need: when the customer is seeking help.

How Data Improves Customer Service

While there are numerous tools and SDKs that can read device information (Google Analytics can give you the basics), these tools are designed for engineering and product teams. They give mass overviews of information, things like how many users are on iOS 6 vs iOS 7. But your customer service reps need to know what operating system the person they are talking to is on, not what operating system most people are on.

Currently, reps find this out through asking on a phone call: “can you please tell me what OS you are using?” The 55 year old elementary school teacher from the midwest on the other line will then spend 3 minutes trying to figure out what that means and where he can find it. Obviously, this method is wildly inefficient, and leaves both reps and customers frustrated.

And really, as well they should be. The data is there, customer service reps just need access to it.

How Customer Service Reps Can Get Customer Data

These are the pieces of data your customer service reps should see, every time they get a ticket:

– App version

-Device model

-OS version

-Carrier

-Wifi vs. 4G

-Last purchase date

-Free vs. Premium user

-URL to last crash (integration with crash reporting tool)

-Account status

Depending on what type of business you are (retail, gaming, e-commerce, etc), you can also see information like how many “coins” your user has, what their brand preferences are, or how many “friends” they have. To do this, you simply need an SDK designed for customer service representatives instead of engineers.

Now You Have The Data: What Happens Next?

Here’s the thing about mobile apps: you can’t have cookies and track users. That’s why having an SDK that provides custom user data to support reps is so essential. It cuts down enormously on the amount of time that support reps spend digging for information, reduces backlog, and leaves customers happier. Just think about what it’s like to call Apple with a device problem: they need about 5 pieces of information before they can look into your machine and figure out what’s wrong with it- and that’s a brand with some of the best customer service in the world.

The beauty of mobile is that you eradicate these initial questions. By giving your reps unique device data, you cut down interaction time, improve CSAT, and enable your reps to view your customers more holistically. It’s time to pull back the blinds, and let your reps see into your customers’ devices.

Published August 2, 2016
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