Meet Customers Where They are With In-App Support Tools

in-app support tools

Smartphones have now become the primary way most people access the internet. In fact, as Pew reports, the vast majority of Americans (81 percent) use a smartphone today — more people than own actual desktop or laptop computers. This is true across demographics. Yes, around 95 percent of millennials own a smartphone — but so do more than half of baby boomers. Across every audience Pew surveys, smartphone use is rampant. And in 2016, smartphone use officially surpassed desktop or laptop for web browsing.

The point is, mobile technology is only getting more user-friendly, with more people using their smartphones to take care of tasks they used to accomplish on a bigger screen. And that includes the ways they interact with your brand — whether your brand is an app born in the digital age or traditional business with a digital presence.

Nearly every business today has at least one mobile app to augment its customer experience (CX). If your customer support is still primarily conducted by phone, email or on the web, you’re missing a huge opportunity to land in the comfort zone of your customer base. People live on their phones. Meet them there, and bring the right in-app support tools.

In-app support tools give your customer experience an edge

Because they allow the user to get help without having to navigate to a web browser, phone screen or email client, in-app support tools create a more seamless CX. That experience flows even more smoothly when technologies such as automation, AI, bots and asynchronous messaging are integrated into your in-app support tools.

Automated issue routing

Automated issue routing uses bots to automatically label customer issues as they come in. Every customer query is directed to the right agent, team or another bot, so the customer gets their questions resolved quicker. Within the app, automated issue routing automatically triages customer issues so there’s no sense of having to switch channels or be transferred back and forth between various customer service options.

Artificial intelligence 

Automated issue routing can be supercharged with AI. When AI is introduced to the mix, natural language processing (NLP) reads the “intent” of customer messages even when they contain typos or language variance, to better route queries to the right place. AI-enabled issue routing becomes even more accurate over time, as the classification engine finetunes the way it responds to customer queries. 

Answer bots

Answer bots enable you to respond to customers within your app round the clock — no matter what time zone customers are in. They can also be multilingual, enabling translation into many languages so you can serve customers beyond the native language of your product. Typically, an answer bot will connect customers with articles from your knowledge base, allowing them to self-serve and — in 20 percent of cases — ultimately deflect tickets. 

Asynchronous messaging

Asynchronous messaging is a technology that enables in-app support to take on the tenor of other messaging services consumers use regularly, such as text messaging, which does not require two parties to be actively participating at once. Instead, the customer sends a message when convenient, and receives an alert when a response is ready. There’s no need to be actively “in the session” to get an issue resolved. Conversations can unfold in a way that’s natural, efficient and convenient for the customer.

All of these in-app support tools combine to create a far superior experience for users, who never have to leave your app to get their problems resolved and questions answered. This increases your CSAT, and just as importantly, reduces churn.

How in-app support tools help reduce churn

For gaming apps, in particular, churn rates tend to be very high. One study claims that fewer than 15 percent of gaming apps retain even 35 percent of players beyond day one. After 28 days, most games average a staggering churn rate of 94 percent. So for games to be successful, they have to curb the churn.

Most churn happens because CX is subpar, so anything you can do to improve it will help bring your churn rate down. When customers contact support, they’re already in a needy state. Your best line of defense is to help them quickly, efficiently and without making them jump through hoops. 

Of course, this goes for all types of products, not just mobile games. The more questions you can answer upfront (and inline), the fewer tickets ultimately pass through your customer service organization — saving you resources and your customers’ time.

In-app support tools are closely tied to CX, so adding them can both increase your CSAT and reduce churn. With the extent to which people rely on their smartphones to accomplish most tasks these days, the ability to meet your customers where they already are — in your app — lends itself to a better customer experience all around.

Published September 16, 2019
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