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In Mobile App Support, Context is Everything

By R. J. Stangle / Jun 10, 2014

What happens when your customers are all over the world and use a variety of different mobile phones, tablets and platforms?

Depending on how your app is designed, they might have to leave your app and visit your web page to search your knowledge base, submit a support request via a complicated web form, or chat with an agent. Do your users really have time for any of that? This kind of experience is painfully distracting and many users will simply give up on your app.

If the customer does reach your support team, how much detail about a problem can your users really provide? You’ll be lucky if customers provide the context your agents need – describing exactly what they were doing, the symptoms of the problem, things they tried, and their device or OS information. The user may simply lack the technical knowledge or ability to provide this context, leaving your mobile app support team guessing about how to help; quite often your team ends up spending more time probing users for details than actually solving problems.

You shouldn’t have to guess at your customer’s problems

A good start is to use crash reporting and analysis tools, such as Crashlytics, that collect information every time your app crashes. Your developers can use these reports to zero in on what needs to be fixed. This is good for eliminating bugs for the next version, but the problem with this approach is that you get a global overview of all crashes and no information about specific user experiences.

You can also have your users submit app logs via a “send email” button that attaches the report to the email. Many apps and desktop programs already do this. You get incident-specific information, which is nice. But it’s a lot of work to integrate these reports into your workflow. And you have to trust that your app user will think of doing this, or remind them, and hope that they won’t accidentally remove the attachment from the email. This incident data is not usually easily digestible by human readers; you’d have to train your agents so they could understand what’s in the reports or ask your developers to interpret it.

Relax, help is on the way!

We’ve been thinking about this particular problem a lot. We wanted to make something simple for developers to implement that provides valuable, meaningful information to your agents. So we’ve come up with a solution we think you’ll like: by inserting one line of code into your app you can integrate our free SupportKit SDK; it collects the context information your agents need to be fast and effective and sends it to your support department. Then you can use SupportKit Console to analyze the information captured from your app. You don’t have to be a developer to act on the content of the data captured by SupportKit, you’ll be able to get to the root of your customer’s problems quicker than ever before.

Curious to know more about how context can make you more effective at providing support? Find out more by reading the announcement of our new SupportKit Console.