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5 Proven Strategies to Improve Customer Experience

If your customer’s flight arrives early and you’re able to make arrangements for changes in stay and travel plans beforehand, then that’s a great experience for the customer. If your customer needs to call support portal and request for changes, then that’s just customer service.

Bain & Company together with Harvard Business School foretold- increasing customer retention rates by 5% brands can increase profits by 25% to 95%. Decades ago, customer retention programs involved friendly customer service. Today, the strategy for customer retention has shifted to experiences that customers appreciate. Here are innovative ideas to improve customer experience.

#1 Preparing Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map outlines customers’ emotions from the time they come to know about your product to their purchase and post-purchase experiences. 

It helps to point out unsatisfactory instances and discover bottlenecks in operations. You can then device strategies for better customer experiences. According to Oracle’s Executive survey, hassle-free experience drives 74% of loyalty from customers. The customer journey is going to be integral to almost every digital product soon. 

[Quote]

New Product is the Customer Journey.

While building a customer journey map, it is important to include stakeholders’ viewpoints.  These can be from leadership, UX, customer success/service, product, sales and/or marketing, analyst, and third-party vendors/store managers. 

Also, the customer journey would be an understatement if you’ll not include Customer Experience Management (CEM), Communication and Persuasion techniques, Customer Relationship Management, and understanding of the retail environment.

#2 Living Up to the Promise

Customers are also brand advocates. They’re also playing the role of influencers. Therefore, not delivering the promised service might disappoint the customer and will eventually spread a negative reputation for your brand.

Delivering experiences more than promised is rare, but once achieved, loyalty towards brand from customers and their referrals is beyond imagination.

Here are a few Zappos’ “Deliver WOW Through Service” stories featured in Forbes.

#3 Bringing Better Mobile and Hand-held Device Experiences

Millennials have evolved from using CRTs to smartphones. And the unanimous reason is convenience. For instance, a VP of a leading firm, who is also a home-maker is now able to arrange dinner for the family while taking an uber ride.

The point is- mobile phones, tablets, or portable laptops have surpassed the limitations of portability. Customers are using their hand-held devices for accomplishing tasks anywhere and anytime.

You’ll be surprised to know, 77% of mobile searches are from locations where people are also having access to PC.

To improve customer experience on smartphones, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and optimizing key complex pages like homepage can turn beneficial. E.g. FRANK, a UK-based drug information service provider was able to increase its traffic by 39% by providing the best mobile experiences. 

IKEA was able to calculate the omnichannel return on ad spend (ROAS) for footfall in Belgium. It found out mobile campaigns brought 80% more footfall than the desktop campaigns.

#4 Adopting Omni-channel Service Can Help to Improve Customer Experience

Most businesses are investing in multichannel experiences like social media, website, mobile-first, smartwatch, and different offline and online marketing channels. Often these channels are not connected and aim to provide esoteric experiences. 

But, people expect the same service from brands regardless of channels. It can be social media like Instagram or Facebook- people want brands to hear their complaints or resolve their queries then and there itself. 

Or, while visiting the physical store, customers want the store representative to be helpful throughout the time they’re spending in-store. Google research states, over 70% of all shoppers say they are open to learning about products on YouTube from brands.

Omni-channel services seamlessly integrate different communication channels irrespective of how and where customers want to reach out.

For example, Bank of America allows paying monthly bills, depositing cheques, etc. via mobile app and website. Users can schedule appointments, connect with representatives via phone, chat, or in-person interaction.

#5 Providing 24 X 7 Support

About 72% of tech-savvy customers appreciate the real-time response from companies. They also acknowledge immediate query resolution can win their loyalty for the brands. Let’s talk about how to improve customer experience by enabling 24 X 7 support on your portal or website.

  1. Human support: The average cost per customer support is $1/minute, according to VHT. 
  2. Remote human support: Using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) call-center support, the average cost drops to $25-$45 per agent per month. And human agents from different geographic locations can provide customer support according to their time-zones.
  3. Chatbots: The best of today’s’ technology is AI-powered chatbots, which are capable of handling customer queries at less than $0.1/minute. 

Cost is just one factor to determine your brand’s customer relationship management strategy.  To-the-point real time response to each and every customer query is what makes a great customer experience.

For example, brands are using AI-powered chatbots to provide 24 X 7 customer support, especially during off-working hours and holidays. These chatbots allow integrating document processing workflows, ticket management systems, etc. to further simplify and automate customer support. Therefore, you can opt for Smart bots which are not only cost-effective but also scalable across enterprizes.

Source: Hitee

To learn more about great customer experiences and strategy consulting to bring the best to your brand, feel free to contact us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com.

Contributing Authors: Nidhi Agrawal (Content Writer @Mantra Labs)

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12 Tips To Secure Your Mobile Application

Cyber attacks and data theft have become so common these days especially when it comes to mobile applications. As a result, mobile apps that experience security breaches may suffer financial losses. With many hackers eyeing to steal customer data, securing these applications has become the number one priority for organizations and a serious challenge for developers. According to Gartner’s recent research, Hype Cycle for Application Security, investment in application security will increase by more than two-fold over the next few years, from $6 billion this year to $13.7 billion by 2026. Further, the report stated, “Application security is now top-of-mind for developers and security professionals, and the emphasis is now turning to apps hosted in public clouds,” It is crucial to get the fundamental components of DevOps security correct. Here are the 12 tips to secure your mobile application: 

1. Install apps from trusted sources:

It’s common to have Android applications republished on alternate markets or their APKs & IPAs made available for download. Both APK and IPA may be downloaded and installed from a variety of places, including websites, cloud services, drives, social media, and social networking. Only the Play Store and the App Store should be allowed to install trustworthy APK and IPA files. To prevent utilizing these apps, we should have a source check detection (Play Store or App Store) upon app start.

Also read, https://andresand.medium.com/add-method-to-check-which-app-store-the-android-app-is-installed-from-or-if-its-sideloaded-c9f450a3d069

2. Root Detection:

Android: An attacker could launch a mobile application on a rooted device and access the local memory or call specific activities or intents to perform malicious activities in the application. 

iOS: Applications on a jailbroken device run as root outside of the iOS sandbox. This can allow applications to access sensitive data stored in other apps or install malicious software negating sandboxing functionality. 

More on Root Detection- https://owasp.org/www-project-mobile-top-10/2016-risks/m8-code-tampering

3. Data Storing:

Developers use Shared Preferences & User Defaults to store key-value pairs like tokens, mobile numbers, email, boolean values, etc. Additionally, while creating apps, developers prefer SQLite databases for structured data. It is recommended to store any data in the format of encryption so that it is difficult to extract the information by hackers.

4. Secure Secret Keys:

API keys, passwords, and tokens shouldn’t be hardcoded in the code. It is recommended to use different techniques to store these values so that hackers cannot get away quickly by tampering with the application. 

Here’s a reference link: https://guides.codepath.com/android/Storing-Secret-Keys-in-Android

5. Code Obfuscation

An attacker may decompile the APK file and extract the source code of the application. This may expose sensitive information stored in the source code of the application to the attacker which may be used to perform tailored attacks. 

It is better to obfuscate the source code to prevent all the sensitive information contained in the source code.

6. Secure Communication:

An attacker may perform malicious activities to leverage the level of attacks since all communication is happening over unencrypted channels. So always use HTTPS URLs over HTTP URLs.

7. SSL Pinning:

Certificate pinning allows mobile applications to restrict communication only to servers with a valid certificate matching the expected value (pin). Pinning ensures that no network data is compromised even if a user is tricked into installing a malicious root certificate on their mobile device. Any app that pins its certificates would thwart such phishing attempts by refusing to transmit data over a compromised connection

Please refer: 

https://owasp.org/www-community/controls/Certificate_and_Public_Key_Pinning

8. Secure API request & response data

The standard practice is to use HTTPS for the baseline protection of REST API calls. The information sent to the server or received from the server may be further encrypted with AES, etc. For example, if there are sensitive contents, you might choose to select those to encrypt so that even if the HTTPS is somehow broken or misconfigured, you have another layer of protection from your encryption.

9. Secure Mobile App Authentication:

In case an application does not assign distinct and complex session tokens after login to a user, an attacker can conduct phishing in order to lure the victim to use a custom-generated token provided by the attacker and easily bypass the login page with the captured session by using a MiTM attack.

i) Assign a distinct and complex session token to a user each time he/she logs on successfully to the application. 

ii) Terminate the session lifetime immediately after logging out. 

iii) Do not use the same session token for two or more IP addresses. 

iv) Limit the expiry time for every session token.

10.  Allow Backup 

Disallow users to back up an app if it contains sensitive data. Having access to backup files (i.e. when android:allowBackup=”true”), it is possible to modify/read the content of an app even on a non-rooted device. So it is recommended to make allow backup false. 

11. Restrict accessing android application screens from other apps

Ideally, your activities should not give any provision to the opening from other services or applications. Make it true only when you have a specific requirement to access your flutter screens from other apps otherwise change to android:exported= ”false”

12. Restrict installing packages from the android application

REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES permission allows apps to install new packages on a user’s device. We are committed to preventing abuse on the Android platform and protecting users from apps that self-update using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism or download harmful APKs.

Conclusion: 

Mobile Apps have become more personalized than ever before with heaps of customers’ personal data stored in them every day. In order to build trust and loyalty among users and prevent significant financial and credential losses for the companies, it is now crucial to make sure the application is secure for the user. Following the above-mentioned mobile app security checklists will definitely help to prevent hackers from hacking the app.

About the Author:

Raviteja Aketi is a Senior Software Engineer at Mantra Labs. He has extensive experience with B2B projects. Raviteja loves exploring new technologies, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Read our latest blog: Implementing a Clean Architecture with Nest.JS

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