If you haven’t heard the term “frictionless” yet, it’s time to add it to your customer service lexicon. The skyrocketing amount of inbound calls from mobile phones is a major reason. Some Nuance customers say that more half of their contact center interactions now involve a mobile device. That’s why so many organizations have made mobile customer service a priority this year.

In a frictionless environment, customer service channels are freed from their traditional silos and integrated with one another. For example, when the mobile app is integrated with the IVR, customers have convenient, seamless access to live agents.

Here’s an example: A bank creates a smartphone app that’s speech-enabled with natural language understanding so customers can simply speak a request instead of typing it. Personal assistants like Dragon Go! are rapidly conditioning more customers to feel comfortable posing questions to an app rather than an agent. If the app determines that a live agent is the best way to answer a particular question, it can automatically establish that call.

At the same time, the app can take all of the information collected so far and provide it to the agent via a screen pop so the caller doesn’t have to repeat everything. That intelligence improves the customer service experience, shortens call durations and enables each agent to handle more callers. The analyst firm Ovum calls this kind of frictionless scenario “smart, connected interaction.”

“Applications that share information across platforms – and in doing so provide the contact center agent with current, accurate data about what the customer was doing before escalating the problem to a voice call – lead to better interactions,” Daniel Hong, lead analyst of Ovum said in a recent interview. “In other words, representatives that are aware of the context of the interaction can help resolve the customer issue, alleviate the situation and expedite the transaction.”

U.S. mobile operator MetroPCS, illustrates the benefits of frictionless customer service. When subscribers dial its customer service number from their mobile phone, the My Metro app that’s preloaded onto their handset would automatically launch and offer to help answer their question.

“It didn’t require a customer to be trained on how to use it,” says Jay Moore, MetroPCS customer operations manager. “It was a very easy application. The customer could look at it and decide if they want to use it. If not, [they could] move on to the IVR, or they could use it and take advantage of whatever features and products it offers. That was the biggest seller for us.”

This call intercept feature proved popular with MetroPCS customers because it provided a convenient, intuitive, self-service option that frequently met their needs. When it wasn’t, the app seamlessly – and frictionlessly – connected them to the IVR.

“With the IVR and My Metro application, we have a reduced amount of calls into our call center, which is pretty much hitting our bottom line in a very positive manner,” Moore says.

Today, most self-service customer experiences aren’t frictionless. That means implementing a frictionless strategy now is an opportunity to wow customers to the point that it becomes a powerful market differentiator.

Intrigued? Meet Nina – an innovative new solution from Nuance that gives enterprises a simple way to implement frictionless customer service.

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About Andrea Mocherman

This was a contributed post by Andrea Mocherman. To see more content like this, visit the Customer experience section of our blog.