When thinking of mobile customer care, most people tend to think of mobile apps. Mobile native apps are indeed a great way to expose pretty much all channels available on a smartphone (see my recent blog about why mobile isn’t a channel) and offer great self-service as well, but there are three main drawbacks with them:
- Change management can be costly with deployment complexities around app store approvals and the cost of specialized mobile app developers. If you rely on an outside firm to make changes to your mobile app, you additionally suffer from slower time to market.
- Customers need to download the app first. For some industries, the frequency of contact with a business is so low that having a piece of software on your phone that takes up precious screen and “disk” space cannot be justified. Your customers might refuse to install your app.
- While push notifications exist, users can choose to disable them, or easily overlook and thus miss them. Important updates do therefore not always reach the recipient in time or lead to the desired response.
At Aspect, we therefore believe in what we like to call disposable apps. Disposable apps are mobile Web apps written in HTML5 so they are usable on any smartphone without the need for a download. There are far more web developers with the knowledge to build HTML5-based apps than there are Objective C or Java developers for iOS and Android (let alone for other platforms such as Windows or BlackBerry).
A disposable app is “disposable” because it is outbound in nature and focuses on the task at hand – it only lives for the time of transaction. It is pushed as a link, typically via SMS, which can lead to an immediate action/response from the customer through the simple touch of an embedded URL. It leads them directly to a page offering either timely information or the option to respond and take action. Think of appointment reminders with the ability to reschedule right away, without having to call in as most one-way reminder apps function today. Or delivery notifications with the option to change the pickup location. Or payment reminders with the option to make the payment right then through a secure app.
Through the use of temporary security PINs and the HTTPS protocol, logging in to a disposable app is fast, convenient, and secure at the same time. Disposable apps have the customer’s immediate attention (studies show that 90% of SMS are read within 3 minutes, and 99% of all SMS are opened), offer a rich environment for a “dialog”, and can also offer ways to get in touch with a live agent if needed, e.g. through a callback option or an embedded call feature through the use of WebRTC.
Aspect Proactive Mobile, one of the solutions available in the Aspect Mobility suite launched last month, implements disposable apps. See the following example:
Disposable apps should be an integral part of your mobile customer experience strategy. They can help to give your customers “mobile moments,” a term coined by Forrester. Michel Falcon has introduced the term “micro customer experiences”, which also accurately reflects what disposable mobile apps can do for you.
Disposable apps do not replace your existing mobile assets, but complement them. They can be designed to follow the corporate look and feel of your mobile native apps. They belong in the contact center, due to their nature of being outbound reminders or notifications that might entail a response option or a way to seamlessly hand the conversation over to a live agent.
Aspect provides a platform on which to build and manage disposable mobile apps, together with your IVR and two-way SMS applications. Aspect’s Voxeo CXP has been supporting voice, text, social, and mobile self-service channels for seven years now, since the previously IVR-only platform was turned into an omni-channel platform. Talk to us today to find out how you can benefit from the use of Voxeo CXP, which is offered both in the convenient cloud and for on-premise deployment behind your firewall.