September 15th, 2015 | 3 MIN READ

8 Tips for Mobile Customer Service Usability

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

When it comes to mobile commerce, the effort typically goes into getting mobile websites and apps live and mastering responsive design, and obsessing over home page, product page, category, search, menu navigation and mobile checkout usability.

But mobile customer service is too important to overlook considering 63% of US adults use mobile to access customer support several times each month, and 90% have had poor experiences.

How can you shore up your #mcustomerservice? Read on.

1. Make service content and tools accessible on mobile

I shouldn't have to point this out, but believe it or not, I've encountered mobile shops with NO way to access customer service from the mobile version of the site. For responsive sites, ensure your customer service and self-serve tools are also mobile friendly (e.g telecom menus).

2. Ensure your service pages are mobile friendly

Ensure responsive or adaptive layouts are not only designed for your home, category, search and product pages, but accommodate all site content.


Make sure you test for the most popular devices and models so the above doesn't happen.

3. Don't bury your links

Web users scan menus for trigger words. In this case, "Customer Service," "Customer Care," "Help" or even "Contact Us."

Of the sites I tested, many buried their customer service links in over-populated menu lists. Here are just 2 examples:



Side-note: If you choose light-on-dark design, avoid gray type and opt for white. The example above may be impossible to read for users in low-lighting or with vision problems.

Side-note 2: Between ALLCAPS and Mixed Case, opt for Mixed Case, it's easier to read/comprehend, especially on mobile devices. And web usability is all about reducing cognitive load.

4. Make room

Ensure there is enough space between tappable targets such as links, menu buttons, etc. According to Baymard Institute, your minimum hit area should be 7x7 pixels between link targets.

Kmart does a nice job:


5. Consider making service a pinned menu option

Guess' mobile site has a native app-like bottom-anchored menu, which stays put as the user scrolls through content. This is well-optimized for hand-held use, and the Service link is most easily accessed by thumb.


6. Show your digits

Mobile operating systems support click-to-call directly from text, email, paid search ads and websites. Don't force the customer to email you. Ensure your telephone number is easily accessible wherever a customer may seek support - from navigation menus to product pages, FAQ and Help content, and of course - checkout.

I've found several examples of this done poorly, for instance:


It's a good idea to style your phone numbers the same as any link, including underline, as not all mobile users understand they can just click to call directly.


7. Support Live Chat

42% of consumers have used live chat on mobile, but most ecommerce sites don't offer it.

Kudos to Karmaloop for offering the feature, but a step-up would be to include the link from this section, rather than forcing the customer to scroll to the top navigation menu.


Let customers know what hours live chat is available, including time zone. (Even better, use geoIP to serve the correct help version with the user's correct time zone).


And avoid calling your telephone option "a live chat."


8. Connect the dots

To understand your omnichannel customer service performance, you may wish to identify mobile users that call your service center. Cabela's does this by issuing support IDs.


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