Research Finds the IRS Gives Better Customer Service Than Most Apps

As more products and companies go digital we’ve seen support quality diverge: either customers can rely on good service in a timely manner, or they are left out in the cold. In the world of apps, it seems the latter situation is increasingly common.

Unfortunately, we’re seeing more of a reliance on FAQs, canned email responses and other tactics that divert customers without providing a solid end-to-end experience. This emphasis on efficiency, especially within software, means companies are moving their attention away from central aspects of customer service and high customer satisfaction: responsiveness, helpfulness,and personalization. Just because products are digital and “lean,” does not mean these key pillars should be forgotten.

We’ve seen so much data around poor support in apps, but wanted to see it for ourselves. So my team at decided to run a survey in which we sent a support inquiry to the top 100 Android apps on the Google Play store, asking if their app would support the latest Samsung Galaxy phone. Simple, right? Well… not exactly.

Seventyone percent of Android apps never responded to a simple customer question.

Our survey found only 29 of top 100 Android apps were able to respond to even the most basic question. Inversely, we did not even hear back from 71 percent of apps. It took an average of 25 hours for companies to respond to an easy yes or no question.

Only one app, called KodiTV, responded to the survey quickly (within three minutes). They were also the only company to use chat for support. The next group of apps all took around three hours to answer our question. These included apps from Amazon, Chase and Ubisoft. That’s not bad, so kudos to these companies. Even the IRS went above and beyond when we sent them a question about the IRS2Go app,…