Customer Service Reimagined

Customer service has long been a critical factor for an organization’s value and long-term success. For IT departments, customer service has traditionally meant staffing support centers for employees to call when they have issues with their PC applications.

In today’s mobile world, however, the challenges and opportunities to perform superior customer service go well beyond the traditional IT support line. Yes, the support role is still essential, but users” expectations have risen dramatically. They have no patience for being put on hold and then asked, “What does your phone say now?” More importantly, as mobile applications are becoming an essential part of customer engagement, IT is often now servicing more than internal employees. If a customer still can’t use the app or has unanswered questions, business can be lost; or worse, a dissatisfied user is more likely to share their frustration with friends, colleagues or the world via social media.

For PC and Mac users, there are a number of support solutions, including those via chat and even some with screen sharing. But in the world of mobile and instant expectations, there has been a big gap. Apple has not made it easy for IT or app developers to provide the services that satisfy demanding users.

In order to address this challenge, Citrix has launched a service called “Concierge” that dramatically improves customer service over traditional 800 numbers. Developed in Fort Lauderdale, Concierge allows any app developer to include a “help” or “concierge” button inside the app that instantly starts a help session with a support rep or domain expert. Audio and video are built into the service so that no phone calls are required.

With permission, users can securely share their screens and device details to avoid “What does your screen say now?” frustrations. Many organizations are planning to leverage the technology for more than simple IT support, such as connecting users to a product expert who can help with a sale or a transaction like a stock sale. In addition, the phone’s camera can be used by the remote expert to help a field worker better diagnose an issue by seeing what the technician sees.

Gus Pinto, senior director of the app platform group at Citrix, says, “We are impressed with the demand for Concierge; it shows that companies understand the value of better communication and in engaging in real time with their mobile customers.”

Wouldn’t it be great if every app had a built-in Concierge? ?

Chris Fleck is on the board of the South Florida Technology Alliance and is vice president of mobility systems and alliances for Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS), a Fort Lauderdale company that provides secure remote access to data and applications.

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