Close to one-third of consumers globally said that poor customer care services have pushed them to jump ship to other mobile providers, according to a survey from Tektronix Communications.
Around 30% consider how their mobile concerns are treated by telcos as the most important reason behind their decision to leave their mobile operator.
So far, the industry is failing their expectations, with 23% out of 3,500 respondents rating their operator “5 out of 10” or less for customer care quality.
The survey, conducted by Ovum for Tektronix, warns operators that they are at risk to lose subscribers in the coming months if quality customer service is not assured, with 24% of respondents stating their intention to leave their mobile operator in the next 12 months.
Already, Tektronix said that another 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.
Viraj Pradhan, sales director at Tektronix for Southeast Asia, said that the churn will be most felt in countries with high mobile penetration like the Philippines where smartphone usage is now over 50%.
“Customer care has become a critical success factor and is often one of the few differentiators in an increasingly commoditized marketplace.”
Pradhan explains that customer service expectations have transformed along with the emergence of faster internet speeds and the mobile boom.
“Subscribers’ expectations of their service provider have changed as they consume mobile data services, using their devices to browse the web, stream video and access social media applications. Customer care is the key touch point for all subscribers when engaging with their operator and it needs to be able to keep pace with the needs of the end user.”
He recommends making the customer care services faster after an overwhelming 69% of subscribers were found to expecting to reach a customer care agent quickly. A further 64% placed great emphasis on how quickly their query is resolved by the agent.
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,” he adds.