Poor quality customer care is the main reason for changing, claims survey

What do you think of your mobile network? If the answer is 'not a lot', then you are not alone.

A new survey carried out by Ovum on behalf of Tektronix Communications has revealed that a third of all consumers cite poor quality customer care as the most important reason for changing their mobile operator. It found that 23% of mobile users rate their operator 'five out of ten' or less for customer care and up to a quarter plan to switch operator in next 12 months. Not good news for the networks.

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.'

The survey pointed to a lack of consumer confidence in the ability of customer care people to deal with and work out the source of problems quickly. When asked to rate the ability of customer care agents to resolve an issue, those surveyed 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 poll indicated that networks could improve customer care through speed of response to customer enquiries. 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.

Angel Dobardziev, Consulting Director at Ovum's Customer Insights team, 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.'

The key reasons for mobile users leaving a network were found to be 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%). No surprise there really and not something a person at the end of a phone can necessarily help with. But knowledgeable customer service can help in other instances and have a significant impact for the business in question.

The 'Who Cares, Wins - Customer Service Perceptions and Churn' survey covered 3,544 consumers, with representative samples in Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, and the US.

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