As Cisco brings new products to market, expands into emerging economies and adds new customers, we see an ever increasing demand from our customers, many of whom are network technology professionals, to access the right technical support, in real time, globally.
Our technical support customers are often "on the road" in their everyday work, helping clients and troubleshooting on site. More than ever, our customers are taking advantage of today's advanced mobile technologies and smartphone platforms to stay connected with mission-critical technical resources that are needed to resolve support issues. The proliferation of persistent mobile broadband connection, rich user interface and highly efficient application development tools has opened up new opportunities for Cisco to offer anytime/anywhere technical support to smartphone users worldwide.
To address this opportunity, Cisco launched its first mobile technical support app for iPhone and iPad in 2011, focusing initially on our community-based support capabilities. The release was followed by the launch of a similar support app on Android in April 2012. The free apps on iTunes and Google Play from Cisco deliver full features and functionality of our online support communities to all iOS and Android users globally, equipping them with the necessary resources to resolve their technical needs.
With our apps, users are able to:
- View answers and relevant information from real-time technical support forum discussions, videos, blog posts and RSS feeds from iPhone & iPad anytime, anywhere.
- Post troubleshooting questions to forum discussions on the fly - whether at one's desk, working in a datacenter, waiting at an airport or anywhere support needs to be completed.
- Share the latest technical support insights from our communities with friends and colleagues anytime, anywhere.
- Track and follow community activities via Favorites and My Activities
- Interact with support professionals and Cisco customers with the right expertise in the right technology domains via messaging, community profiles and member leaderboards (lists of top community contributors).
Since the iPhone app launch, we have seen exponential adoption, with the number of iTunes downloads exceeding 80,000 devices. With a tailored design for Android, the Android app has extended the accessibility of our apps to thousands of Android users. The mobile apps have built a truly global user base, a full 55% of which comes from outside the U.S., with a heavy concentration in emerging markets in Asia & Latin America. In response to the expanding mobile community, we have created a Community Space for Mobile Users so that our users can stay updated on our latest mobile offerings and brainstorm with peers on future mobile needs
Since the introduction of our mobile technical support apps, we have seen clear evidence of improved customer satisfaction and engagement.
Our apps have maintained a user rating of 4/5 on iTunes and Google Play, accompanied by positive user reviews.
Our apps have also contributed significantly to the engagement of and participation by our community members. Our customers, when they are on mobile devices, are much more engaged, contributing to our forum discussions and sharing knowledge at a much higher rate than they normally would. One statistic shows our mobile users contributing at the rate of 6% of their number of visits to our communities (contributions divided by visits), compared with 2% typically seen on the (non-mobile) Web. With the launch of our iPad app, the mobile contribution rate has jumped by 240%, and the mobile pageviews have increased fourfold. With the recent launch of the Android app, contributions increased by nearly 10%, and pageviews by 15%. All of this is evidence of our mobile apps addressing our customers' most critical issues exactly when support is needed.
Our mobile support strategy has already brought significant business benefits to Cisco. One of the key metrics we track as a support organization is cost savings resulting from steering support cases to our Web-based channels (away from traditional channels). We estimate, at our current volume, our mobile apps are bringing cost savings of over $6M annually to Cisco. As the adoption of our mobile support accelerates, we expect this cost benefit to grow significantly over time.
January 2011 to present