There’s a popular rant by comedian Louis C.K. about our cultural impatience with slow Internet connections on mobile devices and on WiFi-enabled airplanes. He sounds a bit curmudgeonly, but he’s only trying to say that we should all take a minute to marvel at the advances of technology before we complain about how they’re not working well enough. To drive home his point about Internet-connected airplanes, he says: “You’re sitting in a chair in the sky.”
It’s true that there is much to marvel over these days. It’s also true that it’s easy to feel annoyed when something takes too long to load or when we get booted from an app to a browser in a moment when we really need the app to work, or to get help. Louis C.K.’s joke is on all of us because we’re all guilty of expecting our technology to work.
The more technology advances, the more we will continue to expect from it. And in many cases, the truth is that we can do better. Today’s lifestyle is mobile and in many countries it’s mobile-first. We’ve moved from being able to access the Internet on phones (super cool) to using apps that are optimized for the mobile experience (even better). Still, many mobile experiences are incomplete and don’t include support content natively within the app. The best way to get help is to be able to ask for it in-context, and that technology is available today.
Make your customers’ lives easier
Le Tote recognized this and built embedded support into their mobile customer service experience from the start. In fact, the subscription-based clothing rental company, growing at a fierce clip of 50 percent per month, also offers in-context support on their website. Using the Zendesk Embeddables web widget, customers can now search help articles or live chat with a stylist from whatever page they’re on.
Similarly, the Zendesk mobile SDK enables Le Tote’s customers to remain within the app whether they’re browsing, rating totes, or seeking help. A “Contact us” option allows customers to email without being bumped out to Gmail or a browser, and the FAQs include access to Le Tote’s Help Center and community forum from directly within the app. Customers can also submit a new support request through an embedded web form and view their previous requests. This means that once they’ve asked their question, they can keep adding new clothes to their virtual closets. It also means that because customers have an easily-navigable way to self-service or quick support, Le Tote is better able to keep up with increasing volume.
The time savings are real
SwiftKey is another company leading the way with embedded mobile support. Their app has been installed on millions of devices, and their smart predictive keyboard technology is found on more than 250 smartphones around the world. So many users naturally leads to high support volumes. From the Google Play store alone, SwiftKey receives a thousand inquiries per month. That’s why it became imperative to anticipate their users’ needs, and to provide support where the user is, on their mobile. “Our apps exist on smartphones. We need to work intelligently on the devices where our customers are coming from,” explained Josh Greenwald, SwiftKey’s community support lead.
To that end, SwiftKey embedded the mobile SDK within the SwiftKey app. Now, when users search the SwiftKey Help Center from within the app, the Help Center automatically detects which mobile device the user is on and opens directly to that platform’s product category.
Device and app-level data also passes to Zendesk when users submit tickets through the app, providing agents with extra context and removing that step of having to ask for device information. The SwiftKey team can then use the mobile data they collect to follow usage trends and further improve the user experience.
What SwiftKey found is that for every 70 views on their Help Center, only 1 ticket is created. It’s an incredible self-service ratio and demonstrates that users are finding what they need within the app without having to contact support. “The Zendesk SDK has allowed us to provide quick answers through our Help Center. Also, we have more context about the users that request 1:1 support. It saves us a lot of time,” said Greenwald.
It’s possible that one day soon there might be no reason to complain about mobile apps. Only time to marvel over our ability to use our phones to curate our closets from a chair in the sky.