Ovum analysts urge enterprises to reconsider their customer services strategies as the widespread use of smart devices brings about a more interactive customer experience.

The use of mobile devices and applications will continue to make the customer service experience more sophisticated over the next four years, according to Ovum. Analysts predict that more than half of inbound customer service calls in key countries will be made from mobile devices by 2016, and about 30 percent of these will be from smartphones.

“The rise of smart devices and the incessant focus on customer loyalty has created the proverbial ‘perfect storm’ for enterprises that want to reinvent the customer experience around smartphones and tablets," lead analyst Daniel Hong said. “We expect a dramatic shift in customer engagement as more consumers use mobile apps as their primary gateway to customer service."

Hong added that the multiple pathways supported by smart devices create a "game changer in the industry," and he called them "smart, connected interactions (SCI)."

Research by Ovum also reveals that customer care teams face the challenge of collaborating effectively with other areas of the business, especially those that own the mobile strategy.

"… Companies that streamline their decision-making are already starting to gain edge in customer engagement as this transition continues," principal analyst Keith Dawson said.

Ovum created a SCI maturity model to help enterprises understand key dimensions and what to expect to progress mobile strategies. The model also offers definitions, benefits and costs that define each phase of development.

“There's no doubt that mobility will fundamentally change the way companies approach customer care," said Colin Schiller, a founding partner of ServeLab. "While many of its capabilities have yet to develop, the smart device is a powerful connected tool that enables multiple channels of communication, so the possibilities for thoughtful, informed customer engagement are boundless …"


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