In the first part of this three-part blog series, I’m going to discuss the state of the union within the mobile customer service space.  I recognize that mobile is one of those topics that cut through many different organizations and processes – and for good reason:  mobile has proven itself as a great disruptive technology.  That said, I want to focus on is what’s happening with consumer-facing mobile apps provided by businesses.  If you imagine your bank, favorite retailer, or even mobile provider, there’s a good chance they all offer some form of mobile apps.  And, if they don’t, maybe it’s time to reconsider where you do business.

We all know about Pandora and Words with Friends, but how are today’s businesses establishing and extending their mobile presence?  Let’s take a closer at what they’re doing.  Most of the business apps I currently use are offering very simple functionality and spending most of their time just trying to garner consumer attention.

Did you know there are over 1.2 million apps out there?  And, that number represents just iOS and Android smartphones.  Since the release of the first iPhone in 2007, the planet has been flooded with mobile apps.  However, in the last couple years, companies have been trying to make sense of this revolution.

While some companies have spent their time with device management and debating mobile web vs. native apps, I think it’s safe to say that most companies have jumped on the mobile app bandwagon.  Don’t believe me?  Okay, then send Mark Zuckerberg a FB message, and let him explain why he felt strongly about going from a HTML 5 to a native app wrapper.

Marketing has led the charge for consumer facing mobile apps.  I really believe what we’ve seen over the last year has been driven by PR-based initiatives.  With the increasing adoption of smartphones, and with their naturally magnetic energy and affinity towards mobile – savvy consumers and businesses don’t have to be convinced of mobile’s tremendous potential.  So it’s only natural that companies are scrambling to simply proclaim, loudly, “We have an app!!!”  The app developers have been given a clear charter based on form over function, which often creates an “experience gap.”  The mandate is to make the app bright, shiny, and do cool things.

Unfortunately, these first-generation apps lack a sense of relevant engagement between the consumer and company.  So, while most companies are designing “me-too” apps that look like a retrofitted version of their website, innovative companies are starting to do much more. I will go further into WHY companies need to do much more in my next post, and round out the series with specific tips on HOW to do it on my upcoming blogs.

For more information on how Genesys’ Mobile Engagement mobile customer service software, click here or watch our mini-webinar, Is Your Mobile App One in a Million with Your Customers.