Great Customer Service: Create a Unified Online Presence

customer-service-unified-online-presenceMore and more companies are launching online apps. Unfortunately, few are thinking through how these apps play into their online strategy.

I recently used an app from a company I’ve patronized for years. When I encountered issues with it, their customer service team encouraged me to use the website where prices were significantly higher. I countered that I should not have to pay higher prices simply because their app did not work as it was intended. At that point, they encouraged me to think of the app and the website as two separate entities – with different user experiences, prices, shopping carts and functionality.

This is a poor business model when it comes to online strategy. Essentially, they’ve created an environment where their app and their website are competitors. As a customer, I’m being encouraged to use the two platforms against each other to find the best prices rather than using them as complements to each other.

Take Netflix for example. When I use Netflix’s streaming option, I can access the service through my phone, tablet or view it on my TV using a Wii or Roku. Whichever way I access it, my Netflix experience is the same. They even save where I am in the show so I can easily slide back into my viewing experience with little work on my part. They can so this because I access the service using a single account regardless of device.

This user experience is something other companies should be able to replicate as most companies have a single account for a single user. It also encourages users to keep using the service, aids adoption of new apps, and decreases confusion.

Whether or not you have or plan to create a mobile app for your business, this is an important lesson. Your customer experience should be the same whether or not the customer meets you in person, talks to you on the phone, visits you online or engages you on social media. You should be “you” everywhere.

Have you ever had a frustrating customer service disconnect?

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