When it comes to customer service these days, it appears to range anywhere from less that acceptable to over the top superior. In the world where social media thrives, customer service has become more important than ever to both gain and keep a solid customer base. As of 2014 the UK alone saw more than 90% of adults owning and using mobile phones, figures that are similar across Europe and in the United States. Mobile phone usage over the past 20 plus years has gone from a convenient luxury to an essential tool in everyday life. In fact, recently both Google and Facebook have reported that the majority of their traffic is accessed via mobile devices, and eMarketer has revealed that more that 40% of online news is read and watched from a mobile device. These statistics only solidify that we are living in a predominantly mobile friendly world.
Where is the customer service?
One would think that in the fiercely competitive world of mobile providers that the level of customer service would be far above reproach. Sadly this has proven not to be the case. Recent research has revealed that nearly 50% of mobile subscribers are not happy with the level of customer service that they are receiving from their mobile operators. It’s almost as if mobile providers have lost sight of the fact that mobile providers today are a pound a penny. You would think that since enabling communications has been essentially the bread and butter for operators since the 90’s, they would be going out of their way to cater to the needs and wants of their valued customers. Sadly, this appears not to be the case.
Problem-solving and response times less than satisfactory
Before it is assumed that the overall unfavourable customer service experience statistics are as a result of rude and unapologetic customer service reps, this is not at all the case. In fact, consumers have few negative things to say regarding the overall treatment they receive from customer service reps. Quite the opposite actually – as far as how the reps conduct themselves with customers go, the majority of consumers are satisfied. The problem seems to stem from the length of time that that customers’ issue are resolved and the way in which they are resolved.
To clarify, more than 60% of mobile consumers expect network issues to be resolved within 1 hour of being reported – an expectation that mobile providers appear to be falling extremely short on. According to findings from operators, mobile subscribers are waiting on average of 24 hours for network issues to be resolved, and in some cases consumers can wait as long as three days.
Representatives are not to blame
Consumers as a whole are not placing blame on the representatives. The majority of consumers feel that the operator representatives are not given adequate access to the data needed to efficiently solve their issues in an acceptable amount of time. The frustration seems to stem from networks that allow customers to be passed around from department to department to have an issue handled that customers believe should be able to be dealt with by the person who initially answers the phone. This is beyond frustrating for customers, considering this forces them to have to repeat the issue to several different people before an action plan to correct the issue is even implemented.
Fortunately, mobile operators are beginning to acknowledge these shortcomings and are working tirelessly to improve their customers overall experience, which at the very least provides a light at the end of the failing customer satisfaction tunnel.