A large majority of consumers use their smartphones to seek out support from brands—but the mobile support experience is sorely lacking. Peer-to-peer conversations, by making support more friendly and personal, can help close this experience gap.
According to Software Advice, 90% of people report dissatisfaction with brands’ current mobile support efforts. P2P conversations make mobile support better and more scalable, while offering a human touch that AI bots will struggle to replicate.
Peers: getting help from people like you
The primary reason conversations add value is that they let consumers connect with each other to share advice and guidance.
We’ve seen peer connections transform the internet in the last 15 years. Social networks are now the No.2 leisure activity, behind only TV.
At the same time, user reviews are compelling enough for consumers to have spawned entire internet businesses on their own (e.g., Yelp and Influitive).
Conversations via communities take user reviews a step further, providing many of the same rewards as social networking. Reviews are one-way, with limited interactivity. Conversational platforms like inSided, by contrast, allow consumers to exchange insights and help each other.
This arrangement gives brand enthusiasts a platform to share their extensive knowledge—and allows ordinary customers to tap into their peers’ expertise.
These kinds of P2P conversations can greatly enhance the support experience. That’s especially true on mobile, where a majority of web browsing now takes place.
Being “responsive” means better, faster answers
Conversational support is a perfect match for mobile because smartphones are already tailor-made for person-to-person communication.
Between native messaging apps, services like WhatsApp, and social networks, mobile devices offer myriad communication options. Communities simply give consumers another platform to engage and interact.
Communities are especially valuable on mobile because many support queries are “in-the-moment”—e.g., “How do I change my billing address?”. When a person has an in-the-moment question, they naturally pull out their smartphone—and conduct a web search—to find an answer.
We see this behavior within inSided communities. A large majority of a community’s traffic typically comes from organic search—usually in the range of 60% to 80%. At the same time, between 60% and 70% of community sessions take place on a mobile device.
Combine these two trends and you see why P2P conversations make sense for customer support. Community conversations are both interactive and searchable, making them ideal for mobile.
Conversations can be integrated across platforms
Community content can also be infused into other mobile platforms. With the inSided API, it’s possible to inject community posts into apps and responsive websites.
You could, for example, feature certain conversations in the support pages of your mobile app—or empower users to search your community from within the app.
The API works bidirectionally, so it’s possible to push community conversations to nearly any platform, or create new community posts outside the community.
This broadens the reach of community content, while giving customers more options for engaging with you. Increasing engagement is a virtuous cycle, because of a community’s inherent network effect. That is, the more people join and post, the more valuable the community becomes—which, in turn, entices even more people to sign up.
As we see it, this network effect is a major reason why conversations enhance customer service. As support interactions (not to mention e-commerce transactions) shift to mobile, having mobile-friendly conversational platforms matters now more than ever.
By Ben Foster
Content Marketer at inSided. Having worked in B2B tech in San Francisco and Boston, Ben's now happy to be in New York City. He'll never root for the Yankees, though. Connect on Linkedin