Over the course of the weekend, Netflix dropped an update for their Android app in the Google Play Store. The new 3.15 version – for those keeping score at home – is primary a bug fix release while also bring full support for Android Marshmallow to the app. Nothing super news worthy but what was worth a mention was a tease that Netflix put at the bottom of the release notes: Call Netflix Help directly from the app. While no indicator of timing was given in the notes, the idea of being able to get technical support directly from within the app is one that could help users quickly if they are having trouble.
The concept of in-app live technical support is certainly not new. Amazon, through their line of Fire tablets, have offered voice and video technical support on their devices for some time.
However, with Netflix teasing that a similar service will be coming to their app, it brings technical support closer to the customer & it solves the problem that many users complain about on many apps which is how to get support when you need it. For sure getting support from larger developers like Netflix, Amazon and others is a bit easier in most cases – but not all. I have found the support from Electronic Arts (EA) to be lacking (I’m being kind) while the support team at Toastcode (who make Screener, the app that I use to take all the screenshots you see) is outstanding and responsive despite being a team of about 7 people. Equally, I’ve found the support team at Evernote to be great as well so size does not necessarily mean better support. It all comes down to the individual companies.
By doing in-app support, Netflix should be able to answer this criticism of developers assuming that they handle it correctly. Time will tell of course and it could well be that this starts setting a trend for other developers to offer similar support in their apps. One thing that Netflix did note is that the new support feature will require access to your microphone. That to me indicates that the support will be done via Wi-Fi and not necessarily a phone call. That gets you around the phone-only support issue.
Do you like the idea of in-app support? Leave a comment here or on Google+ and let me know what you think.