Interactive Intelligence Group, a provider of unified IP business communications solutions, is releasing a software platform that will enable organizations to develop and deploy customer service applications for mobile devices.
The new Interaction Mobilizer platform for creating mobile customer service applications will allow companies to create a customer service portal that can be accessed right from within their mobile apps. "Right now, if you're in a mobile app and you need customer service, companies urge you to call a customer service number," explains Brad Herrington, senior manager of solutions marketing at Interactive Intelligence. "There's a disconnect between mobile apps and customer service."
The idea behind Interaction Mobilizer, he adds, is that "the person never leaves the mobile app to get to customer service."
With Interaction Mobilizer, companies can create self-service applications for iPhone, Android, and Windows mobile devices as well as their Facebook sites. They can brand their own mobile applications and then publish them on the appropriate app stores or offer them from their corporate Web sites for users to download.
One of the main components of the platform is a programming interface for the creation of applications that allow customers to request call-backs from service representatives and be updated periodically as to when the calls will occur. Future versions will support chat, text messaging, and video.
Contextual information, such as the customer's name, what device they were using, the forms or products they were reviewing, and even GPS coordinates, is transferred to the agent. These interactions can be queued and routed based on agent skill, and information is popped onto the agent's computer screen when the customer is connected.
"The agent knows everything about you when she comes on the line," Herrington says. "When you ask for service, we take all the information from the device and send it to the agent."
In addition to providing features that result in a unified customer service experience, Interaction Mobilizer also provides integration to back-end corporate systems, such as CRM systems, issue tracking systems, product catalogs, claims management systems, custom databases, and hosted data in the cloud from vendors like Microsoft, Oracle/RightNow, salesforce.com, and others.
Organizations can track mobile app usage data for maximum scalability, and Interaction Mobilizer provides industry-standard certificate encryption for PCI, HIPAA, and other compliance requirements.
"With more than 100 million smartphone users in the U.S. and about 19 percent owning tablets, customers are demanding more efficient ways to use their mobile devices for business transactions," said Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO Donald Brown, in a statement. "We developed Interaction Mobilizer to do just that: empower companies to more quickly deploy transactional mobile apps that give customers a unified customer service experience."
"Driven by the opportunity to lower costs and expand customer choice, an increasing number of companies are offering self-service applications via mobile devices," said Richard Snow, vice president and research director at Ventana Research, in the statement. "However, we estimate that nearly two-thirds of customers engaging in self-service end up requiring interaction with a contact center agent. As a result, successful mobile customer service solutions must seamlessly link the self-service experience with live assistance."
Interaction Mobilize is planned for general availability in English-speaking countries by the end of June. Localization for other countries throughout Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific will follow.