Mobile applications are widening their utility in multiple aspects every day. Technologies like Augmented Reality, IOT, Virtual Reality, GPS, Beacons are becoming part of our life both in a personal or professional sphere. Enterprises, no matter new or old are bringing their business to our smartphones in an effort to go omnichannel.
Tech evangelism has been a prime focus of many tech companies for last decade. Apple too has been focusing on community building exercises to facilitate knowledge sharing so that developers can collaborate, learn and grow. We see a number of iOS developers playing this role and one can keep abreast with all the latest developments by following these evangelists.
In an effort to help our developer friends, we have listed out the Top 20 Thought Leaders of iOS Development, following whom can help you learn and innovate.
Johann Dowa is the man behind who has created a one-stop web portal for iOS Development libraries, tutorials, codes and tools which are a solution for multiple requirements. Johann provides information pertaining to latest trends like AI, ML. You can follow him on Twitter (@maniacdev). To become a crowdsourcing platform it has allows his visitors to share their learning, share the one you learned now- https://maniacdev.com/submit.
This is a portal started by Ray Wenderlich and he has collaborated with multiple developers across the globe and created a portal with 1745+ tutorials providing hands-on experience of all the latest research areas of ios based devices. You can follow him on Twitter (@rwenderlich). You can also join their community on https://www.raywenderlich.com/write-for-us
Erica has created a portal which has unique updates about ios, apps, hardware and other relevant software. She has also authored a book called “The Swift Developers Cookbook.” Connect with her on Twitter (@ericasadun), as she is quite active and enjoys a huge follower base of 20.2K!
A blog maintained by Dave Verwer provides great updates about the industry to its readers and users on a whole. It shares a newsletter every Friday which has updates about the domain and some unique hacks too. You can also connect with him on Twitter (@daveverwer) and learn about ios.
Check out a copy of his latest newsletter: https://iosdevweekly.com/issues/318
Mike Ash is an adventure-friendly developer who is known to live on the edge. In his blog, he explains about his Mac and iOS development tricks and hacks. He often has a Friday Q&A series which allows developers to ask and get their queries resolved. You can connect with him on Twitter (@mikeash). He has an assorted list of software which can be used by developers and all verified plus tested by him.
Craig Hockenberry is the name behind the blog. He develops apps and websites for his clients all across the globe. He has been blogging for more than a decade and has shared some wonderful insights about development for apps, mac, XCodes and websites. With his experience of more than 3 decades in the industry, he is also known to have good command on user journey which can help UI and UX designers. You can connect with him on Twitter (@chockenberry).
Ole Begemann is owner and writer of this blog. He is an iOS and Mac developer based out of Berlin. He writes about Apple and Its products since 2008. He is not known to be very active on the portal but publishes selected article which is worth spending your time in. He has penned down his experience and thoughts on Mental Models in API design on July 31,2017. The article is inspired from Don Norman’s classic The Design of Everyday Things. Connect with him on Twitter (@olebegemann)
The blog is written by Holly Schinsky, who is developer advocate for PhoneGap at Adobe. She has a great understanding about PhoneGap, Cordova. She provides valuable insights on the development of applications, websites and testing. Her style of blogging is simple, conversation and easy to grasp. Subscribe to her blog and connect with her on Twitter (@devgirlfl) for sure.
Ivo Mynttinen is a guy to follow for creating a user-focussed app. He has a complete understanding of UI and has experience of working with multiple clients across the globe. With this blog he shares his experience about coding, designing and freelancing and sometime his life as well. He shares some cheat sheets like iOS design which are must for both designers and developers. You can connect with him on Twitter (@ivomynttinen).
Noel Llopis is an iOS Developer which is known for his experience with gaming apps. He has authored a book named, “C++ For Game Programmers”. This is all about his experience in the domain. He is quite active on his blog and shares regular updates about his learnings and happenings in the gaming industry. He is known for his creativity and imaginary based skills.
You can connect with him on Twitter (@noel_llopis)
This blog is created and maintained by Carter Thomas, a mobile enthusiast, and good vibration specialist. He writes about articles on how to make and market an app. He provides complete information about strategy and on ways to ideate an innovation. It is a resource which can help developers to understand all about business and act accordingly. Connect with him on Twitter (@carterthomas)
Ray Basile has started this blog in June 2007 just after the launch of the iPhone. He has been a dedicated Apple iOS follower and has been early adopter of the technology. He is a certified Machead who is mad about Apple’s product and its culture. He is a professional social media consultant and a music branding specialist for large retailers. He often writes about iPhone unique accessories which are available in the market. Connect with him on Twitter (@mrbesilly) for sure.
Tom Harrington is the man behind this consultancy for creating great web and mobile applications. He has been writing about Mac and iOS since 2002 and has been a good critic. He is currently not on his blog but you can always connect with him on Twitter (@atomicbird) to know about his thoughts or get some of your Qs answered.
Ben Scheirman is an experienced software developer based out of Texas who has spent most of his time on Objective-C, Swift and Ruby. He has been writing about iOS development since 2009 and has been created apps like Pocket Tabs. He has another website called http://nsscreencast.com/episodes where he shares his insights for iOS development in form of videos and screencasting. It would be advised to follow this blog as well religiously. Connect with him on Twitter (@subdigital).
This is a personal blog of Mugunth Kumar who is a iOS developer, trainer, and author of a book called, iOS Programming: Pushing the Limits. He is active not just on his blogs writing about also on other iOS-based communities. He is active on Twitter (@MugunthKumar), where you can connect with him and get some useful insights.
Chris Adamson, author of iOS 10 SDK Development is the man behind this amazing blog. He regularly updates this asset with topics like coding structures, speaking experience, and Apple Inc’s new products. You can also find him active on Twitter wherein he has some unusual takes on development and coding. Connect with him (@invalidname) and enjoy some unique ideas and thoughts.
Peter Steinberge is a Founder and CEO of PSPDFKit, a PDF framework for iOS, Android and the Web. He is known worldwide for his ability to identify bugs and resolve them. In his blogs, he shares his insights about his experience with iOS and also explains what can be expected. You can connect with him on Twitter (@steipete). He has a huge following database which is over 21.1K followers.
It is a blog maintained by Yari D’aregliam an iOS and OS X developer at Neato Robotics in California. He shares articles on the architecture of app and programs, creating custom controls and various app updates significant to the audience. He has authored a book called, Learning iOS UI Development. It is being followed religiously by many UI Developers across the globe. You can connect with him on Twitter (@bitwaker).
It is a weekly iOS newsletter which is curated and distributed by Rui Peres and Tiago Almeida. It curates credible information from various sources and shares the same with its subscribers, It has posts related to iOS, Business Trends in Mobile Industry, Xcode, hacks of iOS etc. You can subscribe to the weekly newsletter now- by just visiting the website and subscribing it. You can also connect with its curators @Peres and @_TiagoAlmeida
With Apple coming up with new and interesting ways of communicating with users, developers need to identify the possibilities and create a synergy of thinking and implementation in an efficient manner. These developers have practiced for years, so can be a wonderful guide for us to succeed.
Let us know if we missed out on your favorite iOS blog, by dropping your comments below or you can subscribe to our Twitter List and follow them at once.
With more and more businesses springing up in the digital space, coupled with the rapid rise of the digital natives the customer support landscape needs a major reshuffle. As a business owner or a product specialist, you most certainly will agree with me that customers are the lifeblood of your business. The challenge here is to deliver the highest quality service at rock-bottom pricing. As you scale up, and incoming volumes for support queries keep increasing maintaining a consistent level of service within set parameters of budget and resources might seem worrying.
But what is surprising here is – it can actually work!
Guess what: Your customers don’t want to talk to you, any more than you would want to take their calls. All they need is quick, accurate and concise answers to their queries, with zero wait times.
Gone are the days, when customers preferred speaking to IVR systems. They hate waiting for help and detest when they are put on queue to get the simplest of answers. Rubbing salt to your wounds: a typical IVR call costs anywhere between 20-25 cents a minute.
The new school is all about spontaneity; attending every single customer query real time and show that you care for them. An in-app customer support chat system is faster, almost real-time and much more convenient. For a digital landscape customer support by means of In-app Chat is undoubtedly a more robust way to engage customers, win their trust and is also economical. In fact, statistics show that 63% of customers are likely to return to a website that offers online customer support.
In-app Chat therefore is indeed a blessing for customer support, but it can be more than just a chat plugin for your customers to ask questions and get them answered. In fact it can with time reduce the customer support overhead for companies. Here we have discussed Top 5 tricks to get your Customer Support Chat absolutely right.
1. Move to an asynchronous environment:
Live Chat and In-app Chat are two words often used in the same context but there is a subtle difference between the two. In-app Chat or In-app Messaging has two major benefits over Live Chat when it comes to customer support.
Unlike Live Chat, In-app chat is:
- Asynchronous: So the user and agent need not be available simultaneously to communicate
- Contextual: It adds context to every interaction which can be revisited anytime in the future and also makes subsequent follow-ups more efficient.
Live Chat on the other hand, is synchronous and session based. Therefore one has to stick around while the conversation is taking place and can’t have it for reference in the future.
When online customers experience issues with mobile apps, 33% of users will try to contact customer support, whereas a whole 52% simply delete the application. An in-app messenger, thus can reduce churn as nothing beats chat when it comes to customer satisfaction. No other channel offers the same kind of convenience and effectiveness as a quick chat. Chat don’t put users on hold, it’s easy to use and provides a constant experience. Also the resistance to using chat for support is much lower than using phone.
2. Replace Help Tickets with functional FAQs
Support by means of a ticketing system has long been the holy grail of customer support. Not denying the benefits of a ticketing-based support approach, but relying solely on it doesn’t give you the levers to leverage. Also as you scale and the volumes of incoming tickets keep increasing, ticketing based support tends to become slow and pricey.
This is where an in-app knowledge base comes in handy for a business. Even stats suggest that 91% consumers would rather use a knowledge base, if it’s available.
A good practice is to track the frequency of questions users ask on chat and write articles based on that. While a searchable FAQ is omnipresent even in offline mode, the same can be used to aid your support agents as they handle incoming support queries. A Bot operator comes into play here, one that can recommend articles for your agents to share, based on keywords being used during conversations.
This approach is a win-win in all cases. It reduces the overall volume of incoming support queries, reduces TAT of support agents and also increases agent efficiency.
3. Make your support proactive
Prevention is better than cure and a direct analogy to this is Customer Success being better than Customer Support. If one can guide users during every single interaction with your app it will not only reduce support overhead, but also delight users and thereby reduce the likelihood of churn and improve customer advocacy.
A simple 3-step framework to help users get the maximum benefit from your product by means of In-app Chat is described below:
- Event Tracking: Track every action your customer takes or doesn’t take inside your app
- Segment & Targeting: Segment users based on events, sessions, features used or any other KPI and devise targeted messaging for them
- Auto Messages: Every time any user satisfies any of the segmentation rules, send out targeted In-app messages to them.
These messages that get delivered while the user is actively interacting with the app is highly engaging and are ideal to start off conversations with users.
4. Make your support Omni-channel
Did you know that answering a social media complaint increases customer advocacy by at least 25%? Likewise, speedy responses on social media encourage the willingness for online spending. So, businesses refusing to use social platforms as a form of customer support fail to tap the benefits that come with it.
The challenge is not only to be accessible across all channels, which of course is important but to deliver consistent and integrated service quality across them. In the quest to go Omni channel, one can’t of course toggle between multiple channels and simultaneously maintain the same level of service across them.
But what if your support agent could access all incoming queries from multiple channels at the same place. It will be much more convenient and will also help him ensure consistent service quality. Integrating social channels like Facebook, Twitter, slack etc. with your customer support chat solution is the key here.
5. Provide a Consistent and Friendly User Experience:
In the end, nothing satisfies users more than a consistent and friendly customer support. The In-app support approaches mentioned above are for making your support more responsive and efficient. Although very important, no amount of responsiveness or efficiency would resonate with your customers if responses lack the human element of emotion.
If answers to customer queries sounds mechanical, chances are that the business will lose 67% of its customers. Also, nine out of ten consumers expect to receive a consistent customer care. Otherwise, their frustration will escalate and could lead to a slew of negative online reviews.
So, corporations and growing business should pay attention to details and:
- Deeply assimilate customer service software within their apps.
- Provide the appropriate in-app help desk tools to customer care agents.
- Keep up with the customer expectations.
- Implement innovations and new technologies for handling issues.
- Give a user-friendly customer support service.
- Respond quickly to customer complaints.
- Maintain consistent customer care.
There are numerous options to improve customer service with in-app chat. Consumers highly value great customer experience, to the point that by 2020 customer experience will take over price and product quality as the key brand differentiator. Investing in better customer service, therefore, definitely pays off in the long-run, because it can easily make or break a business.
About the Authors:
Jason is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat Software – a leading live chat solution provider that empowers businesses to instantly connect with customers. Jason is a regular contributor to leading online journals and web platforms and loves to motivate customer support teams for providing a gratifying experience.
Satadeep has in-depth understanding of all the digital marketing channels
from search engine optimization to social media optimization. A Data-Nazi by nature, he specialises in conversion marketing strategies to strike the right chord with the right people who can benefit from unique SaaS solutions. Currently associated with Applozic, he is heading the marketing team of the organization.
Chatbots have been making a splash online for awhile now. From commentators predicting their rapid rise, to e-tailers bemoaning the slow rate of progress, chatbots are certainly a hot topic of conversation. What chatbots are fundamentally offering is simple enough: get into people’s messenger apps and sell your products there. But what are some of the other ramifications of messenger commerce? How do brands and businesses need to prepare in order to fully embrace this new technology? Here are some exciting ways in which chatbots are having a lasting impact on the ecommerce landscape.
What chatbots help brands achieve
Let’s start by looking at some of the key reasons why brands and businesses are increasingly turning to chatbot technology:
- Continuity: in today’s frenetic marketplace, chatbots help businesses offer 24/7 customer support. With the proliferation of multi-channel commerce, chatbots help maintain brand consistency at all times
- Immediacy: chatbots give consumers a direct line to your brand, and the reactive nature of chat keeps customers engaged whilst shopping. The barrier to picking up a phone and making a call is high, whereas firing off a few questions is comparatively easy. Chat is an inherently casual and reactive medium, and can help you catch your customers ‘off guard’ (in a good way)
- Mcommerce revenue: brands with a good mobile strategy have a distinct advantage over their competitors who have not yet moved beyond the desktop model. Chatbots drive mobile commerce and can help brands capitalize on growing mcommerce revenue
- Scale: chatbots are a cost-effective way for brands to offer customer care and support. They also take on the important role of upselling and recommending products.
Increasingly easy to use and implement, it’s no wonder that chatbots and live chat have been embraced by so many digital businesses.
Changing the way e-tailers do business: users first
Chatbots make commerce mobile-first, not just mobile-ready. And by mobile first, we mean what is best, most convenient, and easiest for the user.
Most mobile users are only comfortable sticking to a few core applications, so ecommerce brands are taking a proactive approach to conversational commerce. The onus is on brands and businesses to figure out user preferences and fall in line with them, rather than e-tailers calling the shots on how people should shop. This is an exciting time for start ups and growing businesses to capitalize on the consumer revolution and offer ecommerce models that are fully aligned with how people actually behave online.
Chat is a powerful way to engage customers who are a potential flightrisk: conversation inherently holds our gaze and attention. As with so many things in ecommerce, the focus is on brands and businesses providing value through content and information, not just fighting for attention with price. Chatbots also give customers an increased sense of autonomy. Messenger commerce and online chat are all about customer convenience, and should not be exploited as channels for cheap advertising.
Social commerce & social shopping
The boundaries between play, work, and business are blurring, as customers flick from personal conversations to chatbot driven ads or film recommendations.
The rapid rise of social commerce is forcing brands to embrace social media as just another sales and customer service channel. Chatbots are a natural continuation of social commerce — the perfect culmination of shopping as a conversation between brand and consumer.
The increasingly social nature of commerce means that the ways in which ecommerce brands present their products and content needs to change. Instead of glossy ads designed to create ‘hype’, ecommerce companies are much better off focusing on content that is more native and conversational. From partnering with social influencers to user-generated content campaigns, social commerce is changing the ways in which we do digital marketing.
Chatbots are part of the inevitable march of progress. AI is becoming increasingly part of the ways that we do business, and spend our leisure time online.
Using predictive analytics and AI means that ecommerce brands will soon be able to rely on an army of personal shoppers like the recently launched eBay bot Shopbot.WeChat in China is already paving the way as an all-singing and all-dancing messenger app that also moonlights as a personal shopper. Many commentators are predicting that one day WhatsApp will offer similar functionalities to WeChat, making the app a powerhouse of personal and commercial content. (Though there will need to be a whole host of security updated that need to go through before this can be fully realized).
AI chatbots aren’t just disrupting ecommerce for the consumer, they are also helping ecommerce merchants run better online businesses. Shopify’s store builder subscription now includes Kit for free: Kit is a bot CRM who prompts you to run Facebook ad campaigns, and even helps you manage them. Smart bots like Kit are paving the way for AI bots to assist brands on increasingly complex tasks.
VR is another emerging tech that has a huge role to play in ecommerce, so it will be interesting to see whether any synergy between VR and chatbots starts to develop…
Future use cases
It’s clear to everyone that the messenger commerce model is sustainable, and we’re unlikely to see a decline any day soon. One day in the not so distant future chatbots will become personal assistants and shoppers They will take payments, manage subscriptions, discreetly up-sell, and replace many of the functions now fulfilled by a website. They will probably be able to not only react to written text, but video, speech, and images too.
They will also be used by publishers in order to find new readers, make content recommendations, and generally help people organize and better their lives. They might even help us organize our financial and medical lives.
What does this mean for the future of ecommerce?
Chatbots are a perfect example of how crucial data is in helping brands forge better relationships with customers. Rather than alienating users and creating distance, AI is actually bringing brands and businesses closer together, helping them co-exist in evermore intimate ways.
Ecommerce brands and businesses should sit up and take note of the rising tide of conversational commerce and adjust their digital and content strategies accordingly.
The utopia of messenger commerce has not yet been fully realized, but we are not that far from it either. One of the most exciting things about chatbots is their ability to simulate personal conversations, and the wider implications that has in our era of social commerce.
About the Author:
Victoria Greene is a brand marketing consultant and freelance writer. She has her own blog at VictoriaEcommerce, as well as running a few ecommerce businesses. Victoria is a big advocate of mcommerce, and is all about using the latest tech to make more sales and satisfy more customers.