7 Tips for Mobile Customer Service

With all the effort it takes to deliver killer mobile design and usability, it’s easy to forget to optimize customer service content and tools. A recent survey by SoftwareAdvice.com found 63% of US adults use mobile to access customer support several times per month, with a whopping 90% reporting a negative experience.

How can you ensure your customers can self-serve, find your contact information and access the right content on mobile?

1. Ensure all customer service content is mobile-friendly

This sounds like a no-brainer, but many of my test retailers neglect to design mobile templates or consider responsive design for service content pages. Even those that do must test across popular devices (including portrait and landscape orientation) to ensure they are properly formatted.


2. Don’t bury your links

Web users that know what they’re looking for scan menus for trigger words. Unfortunately, there’s no standard convention for customer service. Links may be labeled Customer Service, Customer Care or Help, or even be hidden behind “Contact Us.”

On desktop sites, customer service links are typically located in the top right of header menus and repeated in footer menus. On mobile sites, service links are often included in global menus, making them harder to find quickly.

A common problem on mobile sites is customer service links are meshed with other content like “gift cards,” “email sign up,” “shop by brand” and even “Follow us on Facebook.”


Customer service links should not be mixed with other types of content and calls-to-action

3. Show your support in header menus

Consider your visitor’s context – smartphone users are just a click-to-call away! Focus Camera and Fathead both leverage the header menu to support click-to-call links.


Which approach is better? Fathead’s telephone icon (remember when phones looked like that?) may be more recognized as “clickable” than the phone number, but the number is more easily recognized as a number…worth testing.

KellyCo and ABT include Live Chat and Order Tracking / Help links in their headers, respectively.


4. Make links tap-friendly

According to the Baymard Institute, the rule of “thumb” is to allow for a minimum “hit area” of 7×7 pixels between any clickable elements in your mobile design to ensure no unhappy surprises.


Kmart’s large buttons are easier to tap correctly than tightly grouped text links.

5. Support mobile live chat

Though 42% of consumers have used live chat on mobile (SoftwareAdvice.com), most mobile commerce sites don’t offer it.


Let customers know what hours live chat is available, including time zone. (Even better, use geoIP to serve the correct help version with the user’s correct time zone).

6. Track mobile service inquiries

To understand your omnichannel customer service performance, you may wish to identify mobile users that call your service center. Cabela’s does this by issuing support IDs.

One benefit of tracking mobile inquiries is to identify usability issues particular to the mobile site, in addition to properly attributing the mobile site or app to sales that convert offline.

7. Offer conspicuous help options in checkout

Making customer service options easy to find in navigation menus is table stakes. Kick it up a notch by anticipating when and where your mobile customer may need specific service, and make it a call-to-action.

Burton offers a live chat icon throughout the experience, but it may come in most handy in checkout.


Harrod’s offers customer care options throughout the checkout flow, including a tap-to-call telephone number.


Neiman Marcus cleverly adapts its header menu to include call and chat options – but it may be so subtle customers won’t notice.


Nordstrom uses geolocation to identify international shoppers who may want quick access to shipping and order information.


Optimizing your mobile site for customer service can positively impact conversion rates, helping customers clear their FUD (fears, uncertainties and doubts) in their shopping journey. But it can also impact in-store sales and customer satisfaction.

Make sure your customer service content serves the mobile customer, in every context he or she may be in when visiting your site. And make sure that content is intuitive to find where and when the customer needs it.

Need help with your mobile commerce design or testing strategy? Drop me a line.

Ecommerce Illustrated is a project of Edgacent, an ecommerce advisory group.

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