Why Intent Is the Future of In-App Customer Support Automation

Mobile tools continue to change how customers and businesses interact. Consumers are always looking for a seamless, convenient experience. They want as few complications as possible — and when complications do occur, they want frictionless resolution on their terms.

According to Nextiva, one-third of customers will consider switching companies after the first instance of poor customer service. What’s more, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. ​​

So, what can mobile apps do to eliminate those poor experiences and instead offer excellent customer service that turns their customers into lifetime users? 

Your mobile app is a perfect place to wow your customers when they need support. If they are in the app, you probably already know who they are and have secure information about them. By allowing them to engage with you directly from within the app, you show them you understand the modern consumer’s needs and you have designed a support experience that meets them there — whenever and wherever they want it.

But, to effectively prioritize and deliver excellent customer service experiences, it’s important to have tools that match your users’ needs and expectations. Don’t waste your time on expensive hires and tech stack segmentation — start with automation!

Continue reading to learn why exceptional mobile customer support must happen in your mobile app, why your customer support journey must prioritize customer intent, and how automation can help you provide always-on customer service at infinite scale.

The Current Mobile Customer Support Landscape

Current customer support structures don’t work together to provide the support levels your app users deserve. Most apps today force people out of the app and into another channel such as email or phone. Typically, this means you lose the context, you lose the secure identity you had validated in the app, and you lose the opportunity to support your customer at the moment they needed it most.

By viewing customer service as a solved problem and forcing your customers out of the app, you risk alienating them and sending them a clear message that you don’t understand the modern consumer.

The legacy customer service model makes the basic assumption that the key to resolution of consumer issues is to provide them access to a well-equipped and trained customer service agent. Even most automation tools on the market are focused on creating super agents.

The problem is, modern consumers don’t want super agents — they want readily available support and the ability to resolve issues on their own. This includes:

  • Access to a comprehensive knowledge base with self-help resources
  • Automated, in-app chat to guide them through the self-help journey
  • An undisruptive self-help experience with fast resolution

Helpshift’s Smart Intents leverages everything we already know about the user to guide them down a logical self-service journey that they can access anytime and anywhere, all without leaving your app. Let your app give you the opportunity to build loyalty and resolve issues while utilizing those high-powered customer service agents as personal assistants for the hard stuff.

What Is Intent-Based Customer Support?

Intent-based customer support tools are designed to mitigate these communication issues by initiating the customer support journey where the user is experiencing a problem. When you understand where a user is during their journey and when they encountered a problem, you are better able to resolve their problem. 

Meeting on the Customer’s Ground

Consider this core problem of today’s help resources: step-by-step guides and videos, or even one-on-one calls, all start from the same place by forcing end-users to navigate through their interface on your terms. This is interrupting, annoying, and can even add more confusion when end-users are unable to find solutions to their problems.

Intent-based customer support tools, on the other hand, allow you to:

  • Provide the user self-help resources related specifically to their issues
  • Take them down a logical and automated self-service journey on their own terms
  • When needed, invite the support representative into the experience to provide unmatched personal — often fully from within the app. 

Once you know what an end-user is doing, you can better cultivate exact solutions and give them step-by-step instructions from their current starting point. Not only does that resolve the issue faster, but it also keeps engagement within the app. Remember, when they are in your app, they are in your real estate.

An account-level issue is different from a payment issue, which in turn is different from a performance or gameplay issue. By understanding the type of issue they are experiencing, you can offer better resolution services to your prized users. Here’s how it works:

  • Legacy Support — A user encounters a gameplay issue that keeps them from playing. They leave the app to connect with an email customer support agent who has no understanding of their problem, forcing the user to spend more time explaining their issue, waiting for responses, and hoping for a resolution. The resolution doesn’t come and they leave your app, forever.
  • Intent-Based In-App Support — The same user encounters the same problem, but rather than leaving the app, they begin the self-resolution journey in-app. After easily selecting their problem, they are directed down the self-service journey with guides and resources, allowing them to solve their issue in a matter of minutes without leaving the app. They keep playing, and in turn, keep paying.

How Does This Improve Automation?

Let’s take a deeper look at automation, as more and more customer support channels focus on semi-automatic or automatic processes. This allows businesses to offer 24/7 support, more scalability, and the constant ability to support their users. 

However, before implementing smart customer-facing software, it’s important to build a rich library of resources that API bots and human customer service reps can accurately direct end-users to. FAQ pages, help guides, and step-by-step instructions for increasingly granular problems lay the foundation for a strong automated support system.

Once these resources are in place, you can turn to them in lieu of physical support or live in-person calls. The benefits of taking this approach include:

  • Improved efficiency: Customers are able to solve problems themselves, freeing up time for your agents to solve hands-on issues and increasing overall efficiency.
  • Higher customer satisfaction: Customers will be less frustrated because their problems are more individually addressed and because there is a faster resolution time.

Choose Customer Support Automation Tools From Helpshift

Helpshift’s Smart Intents is a proprietary tool that prioritizes user intent throughout the in-app resolution journey. Combined with our comprehensive suite of support tools, you are better able to understand end-user issues, create faster paths to resolution, and streamline support tickets.We’re a leading provider of mobile support services that are built to ensure your customers enjoy interacting with your apps. Contact us today to learn more about our user-friendly tools.

More about the Modern In-App Support Journey

Learn more about the features that make up the Modern In-App Support Journey

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