Global survey shows poor customer care is a prime cause of churn for more than half of mobile subscribers
One third of consumers cite poor quality customer care as the most significant reason for changing their mobile service provider, with over half stating it is one of their key reasons for switching. A new study shows that almost one quarter (23%) of mobile subscribers only rate their operator 'five out of 10' or less for customer care.
The results of the study from research firm Ovum on behalf of Tektronix Communications, underline a cause for concern that exists for mobile operators. Operators risk losing up to a quarter of their subscribers, with 24% of respondents stating their intention to leave their mobile operator in the next 12 months.
Almost a quarter of respondents admitted that they had changed providers in the last 18 months, with another 42% stating that they were at best undecided on changing providers.
According to the survey, the key drivers for churn among mobile subscribers are: poor value for money (38%); network quality (34%); and a limited range of services and features offered by their mobile operator compared to other services available on the market (27%).
Poor quality customer care was cited by 30% of respondents as the most important reason behind their decision to leave their mobile operator, with 53% stating it as one of several key reasons behind changing provider.
When asked to rate the ability of customer care agents to resolve an issue, respondents were least confident in an agent's ability to address poor network coverage, followed by a lack of confidence in the operator's ability to deal with poor handset performance or dropped calls.
The survey indicates that operators can improve customer care through speed of response to customer enquiries. It also reveals that an overwhelming 69% of subscribers expected to be able to reach a customer care agent quickly, with a further 64% placing great emphasis on how quickly their query is resolved by the agent.
Offering his view on the survey results, Lyn Cantor, president of Tektronix Communications, commented: 'Despite significant investment in human resource and infrastructure improvements in recent times, customer care continues to be a challenge for operators, impacting key KPI's such as customer satisfaction and NPS scores, and presenting an ever increasing risk of churn.'
Angel Dobardziev, consulting director at Ovum's customer insights team who lead the research, concluded: 'The study shows that quality of customer care is a key concern for mobile users. If an operator is not equipped to cater for subscriber needs then it could significantly influence their decision to churn. Consumers want to be able to get through to a customer care agent promptly and they want their queries to be resolved quickly and effectively. As it stands, apart from dealing with billing queries, consumers don't feel customer service agents are equipped to do this as well as they should.'
Cantor added that improvements in problem response speed can be achieved by empowering care teams with effective end to end diagnosis and problem solving tools: 'Our view is that whilst network upgrades remain critical to performance improvements, the greatest threat to superior customer care and customer experience lies in the siloed organisational structures and fragmented intelligence that exists within most operator businesses. 'Operators need to combine the data they own with applications that link workflows between their network operations and customer care organizations to speed up identification and resolution of problems. The goal here is to improve the process from open trouble ticket to closed trouble ticket, leading to a fast and efficient dialogue with the subscriber,' Cantor concluded. The global survey canvassed 3,500 mobile subscribers across EMEA, the US and Asia Pacific.