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Discover’s customer-service app also drives commerce

July 7, 2014

0703Discover185More customers are signing up for a Discover credit card via mobile app than expected, one senior executive at the financial services firm said.

Discover seeks to provide the same or even a higher level of service through its mobile app as it does through other channels, said Mark Scarborough, senior vice president of card-member service and engagement at Discover Card. The firm recently won several awards for its customer service, including acknowledgement for mobile customer service specifically.

“We have some commerce functions on the app, and a good volume of accounts that are sourced through that function,” Mr. Scarborough said.

He declined to reveal specific volumes of new credit card sign-ups that take place through the app.

“It is surprisingly high,” he said.

Mobile surpasses phone
The Discover mobile app has surpassed the phone as the primary platform customers use for service and could surpass the Web browser as the number-one service channel within a few years, Mr. Scarborough said.

“At this point it is our second-largest service channel after the Web browser, and it is growing at a much faster rate than Web browsers,” he said. “It eclipsed the phone long ago, and it is something that is a focal point for us.

“With the current trajectory that we have mobile will continue to be the focal point of our development, and the most important interaction for us to continue to develop.”

0703Discover400Mr. Scarborough said the company seeks to make a full suite of services available through the app, including commerce in the form of other products available from Discover Financial Services.

“One thing that is really important to us is making sure the mobile app is capable of doing everything you can do on your desktop or over the phone, and even more in some cases,” he said.

“The mobile app can do everything you like. Having that in a concise format that makes it easy to use for the customer is very important.”

The Riverwoods, IL-based company provides both mobile service — which includes customers using the app on a tablet — and Web-based service through its e-support group.

0703Discover2-400Customers choose the channel
Mr. Scarborough stressed that the company takes customer support very seriously, and seeks to provide a high level of service through whatever channel the customer chooses to initiate contact.

“We are focused on customer service first, so they can get the information they need that is relevant to them,” he said.

The service mantra at Discover is, “We treat you like you treat you.”

“It is that culture that drives our development. We are not pushing things that we want. We are trying to give the customer what they want.”

Discover400That approach to service has led to a host of awards and recognitions for Discover, including three first-place Call Center Excellence awards from the International Quality & Productivity Center this year. The awards were for Best Learning and Development Program, Best Social Media Customer Care Program, and Best New Mobile Customer Strategy.

Mr. Scarborough said that most mobile customers access customer service at Discover through its app, while only a small percentage access the Web site via mobile devices. Searching using a mobile device on Google for Discover prompts a link to download the primary Discover app at the top of the search.

“Mobile is very personal,” Mr. Scarborough said. “You carry it virtually everywhere.”

Final Take

Mark Hamstra is content director at Mobile Commerce Daily

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