INFOGRAPHIC – Top 5 Reasons You Need In-App Support

Apps today have crossed into a place where they are not just for entertainment. We open our house, buy furniture, sell stocks, do our banking, check in on our children and pets, adjust our sprinklers, order pizza, interact with our doctors, and even do our work – all with apps. Apps are a mission critical component of our lives and their support mechanisms need to respect that mission criticality.

Along with the anecdotal evidence, the actual facts paint an even more daunting picture.   Mobile commerce is the fastest growing type of commerce, expanding at 3 times the rate of traditional e-commerce.   Yet, 83% of those transactions require live customer interactions when making a mobile purchase and over 16% will buy from a competitor if they encounter a hiccup at all.

The case is compelling, the need profound, yet still the vast majority of apps today are released without a strategy for support. In the past six months, we have seen case after case where app support is able to significantly improve both the business operations of the publisher and the experience of the actual user.

Still not convinced – check out our infographic for even more mind-blowing detail.

Top 5 Reasons You Need In-App Support


RIP support@uber.com

Call me surprised, but Uber, has been doing its support via email for the past 7 years.   In fact, according to Uber, they have answered over 17 million support requests over that period – all via email.   Really…email.

If an Uber customer needed help over that period of time, they needed to leave the Uber app, open email, punch out a note, add a meaningful subject line, and send it away.   No context, no standardization, just a raw email.

So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that, Uber recently announced it has evolved from this system to an In-App support model.    The company provided the following reasons:

  1. China and India prefer App-based messaging (BTW – so do we!)
  2. The volume of email is choking Uber’s help desk
  3. Uber needs to improve slow email response times

While I applaud Uber for this shift, I believe that the stated reasons are too internally focused and miss the real point of an outstanding customer service experience. Improved internal efficiency and an overall ability to do more work in less time is great, but what is in it for the customer?

Great customer support is about making the customer experience better while using less of THEIR time to do it.  If a company can do this and save money at the same time, it’s a double word score!   Helping a struggling customer is an opportunity for a company to be a hero or a goat!    If the motivation is to simply avoid or close a ticket, then the company is on an express trip to goat-dom.   A company neglects this point at their own peril.

There are many in the app world who act like support is a four letter word.   In fact, it seems that the entire tech industry has decided that customers are a necessary evil whose needs are below their own.  (Tried to find a phone number to talk to a human lately?)   To give Uber some credit, at least they are doing something.  Let’s break down the good and the bad.

On the good side, Uber makes customer Help obvious in their navigation.   After you select that option, you get to choose the area of need from some pretty simple choices.   So far, so good.

Uber1Uber2

Unfortunately, this is where it starts to get a little clunky.   Uber goes to a lot of trouble to organize and include all of their major FAQs.   On an atomic level, they are well done.   The challenge is that each list can go three or four levels deep and there are too many options to choose from.  A simple search would be a welcomed addition.

Uber claims an initial 10% reduction in tickets based on the new system, which seems low based on the sheer quantity of FAQ items.  Something must be missing.

Sprinkled within the maze of help topics are free-form areas where you can ask a questions, reports bugs, or ask more questions.   I couldn’t discern any real organization to where and why the free form FAQs showed up – but they did.

uber3

Here is where Uber really short arms the process, i.e. the bad.    After a question goes into a queue, it gets chewed on by the machine, and then an answer is spit out via a notification to the person who asks the question.    There is no opportunity for expanding on the question, no back and forth – simple question followed by simple answer.   As a customer, I could see how this would be frustrating.  (I wonder how often the answer is 42).

Uber has taken a positive step moving away from email support, but there is more to be done.    In my next blog, I’ll go into more detail on what Uber needs to do to improve.   Until then, you can follow us at @therevtwo.


Yes, Support Matters!

Over my career, I have seen the impact that well supported products have on their users and the companies that sell them.   Great support creates evangelists, turns newbies into power users, and prevents Twitter-storm disasters!

The harsh reality is that products will have problems, users will get frustrated, and products that don’t have a well-thought out and executed support strategy will fail – sometimes spectacularly.

The last startup I founded, Axeda, created the word’s first IoT (Internet of Things) platform.   At Axeda we connected some of the world’s biggest and baddest machines to the companies that made them.  These companies had a hodgepodge of tools to support their products, and it always seemed like we should “do more” to make this experience better.

We founded RevTwo to “do more”.   The mission of RevTwo is to deliver the next generation of support platforms for next generation products.    Apps, Dockers, and IoT, whose underlying technology is built upon sandboxed operating environments or highly embedded operating systems, have rendered an entire industry of PC based support tools useless.

There are over 3,000,000 Apps on the Google Play and Apple App Stores, over 300,000 dockerized apps in Docker Hub, and over 300 IoT platforms connecting billions of products to thousands of companies.   We want to make supporting those products

EASY, POWERFUL, AND ECONOMICAL!

As part of this mission, we want to encourage you to communicate with us on any topic of interest regarding support.    To that end, we are have launched a company Slack channel #RevTwoDeveloper.   The #RevTwoDeveloper Slack channel will be the place for discussions about:

  • the RevTwo software stack
  • upcoming features
  • support questions
  • use cases
  • best practices
  • and more

The initial launch of the RevTwo In-App Support Platform for iOS has been a huge success.   We are overwhelmed by the interest and the prospective customers who view support for their Apps as a strategic differentiator.  We have heard your requests and are busy expanding our platform to meet even more use cases and will write a post on that shortly.

Stay tuned and join the conversation!