The Customer Service Survey

Mobile Customer Service Apps (with stars upon thars)

by Peter Leppik on Thu, 2011-11-17 15:27

Many large companies are now offering smartphone or tablet apps for customer service. These give what is supposed to be a convenient way to do certain tasks (check your balance, book a flight, etc.) from the convenience of your gadget and (not incidentally) without talking to a customer service rep.

When you pick up the phone and call, you never know in advance what sort of experience you will have. One cool thing about these customer service apps is that you can see the user rating right there on the page. I looked up a few iPhone apps from some big companies:

Cream of the Crop

  • Zappos: 4.5 Stars

Nice Job

  • Chase Banking: 4 Stars
  • Best Buy: 4 Stars
  • 4 Stars

Better Than Nothing, But Not Great

  • Wells Fargo Banking: 3.5 Stars
  • Bank of America: 3 Stars
  • Citi Bank: 3 Stars
  • AT&T: 3 Stars
  • Delta Airlines: 3 Stars
  • United Airlines: 3 Stars

Why Do They Bother?

  • Charles Schwab: 2.5 Stars
  • Verizon: 2.5 Stars
  • American Airlines: 2.5 Stars

What Were They Thinking?

  • Southwest Airlines: 1.5 Stars

In my personal experience, iPhone apps with fewer than 4 stars usually have some significant deficiencies, and a three-star (or worse) app is usually pretty bad. Clearly some companies have done a better job than others in their mobile customer service apps--and clearly some companies need to rethink this strategy entirely.

We are not yet at the point where many customers make buying decisions based on how many stars a bank or airline's mobile app gets. But that day might not be so far off.

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