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Alcatel-Lucent | Story
 

If smartphone usage numbers are up, how do we keep calls to the help desk down?

Posted By The Network Integrator, 07 November 2012 | 0 Comments | (0)
Tags: Alcatel-Lucent CEM Customer Experience Customer Experience Management Help desk Market and Customer Insight mobile Service Providers smartphone

By Greg Owens, Senior Director, Customer Experience Solutions Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Most of us in telecommunications encounter various statistics on a daily basis. They help us to make decisions and enable us to determine if we are doing the right things the right way.  Alcatel-Lucent has recently contributed some useful data to the conversation around customer experience management (CEM) in a study, co-funded by the Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insights (MCI) group and Heavy Reading.

 

At the risk of creating stat overload, I have a few other statistics that I would like to share that are simple, straightforward and, I believe, very important if you have a role in the mobile communications industry specifically.

 

  • According to a new study from Pew Internet & American Life Project (cited in a recent article published in the Huffington Post), nearly half (46 percent, to be exact) of all Americans are using smartphones.
  • Research from D2C in Japan found that nearly all smartphone users (95.2 percent) are accessing the Internet from their mobile device on a daily basis, spending an average of 71 minutes surfing. Only half of feature phone users (50.3 percent), on the other hand, are accessing the Internet each day with their mobile device, for an average of just 47.8 minutes.

 

So, there are more smartphones out there and their owners have bigger demands for mobile data. Good news, right? According to Informa’s report “The Mobile Consumer – Smartphone Usage and Behavior Survey 2012”, smartphone users generate 32 percent higher ARPU on average than non-smartphone users. That sounds very good!

 

But how does this growing demand for data impact the customer care operations of the mobile operators who are providing that access?

 

The same research from Informa points out that, in the U.K. (and we highly suspect elsewhere as well), the main reason that people call the help desk (34 percent of respondents) is to report technical problems with their phone. Research that we’ve done with one of our partners, WDS, indicates that call times for smartphone issues are 28 percent higher than for feature phone issues, with 30 percent of smartphone problems taking more than a day to resolve. Further, follow-up calls are more frequent with smartphone users: 43 percent of smartphone problems require two or more interactions with the help desk.

 

All of these statistics point to an issue that is bound to explode in the short term: service providers need to have a clear plan for reducing calls to the help desk and for helping those customers who do call the help desk more quickly and completely; avoiding the need for follow-up calls.

 

We understand these challenges at Alcatel-Lucent. Our Motive portfolio of customer experience solutions takes a comprehensive approach to increasing the quality of the overall experience for consumers (the customers of our customers) and eliminating what I call “the annoyance factor”. After all, today’s annoyed customer becomes tomorrow’s ex-customer!

 

Our approach begins with avoiding problems before the consumer is even aware of them, by getting new devices, applications and services up and running quickly, by simplifying their introduction on the network, managing upgrades and service modifications, and providing a consistent, low-hassle experience. We have already provided this level of support for nearly 45 million mobile devices.

 

We also enable our customers to track network performance through the use of sophisticated analytics that allow close monitoring of the service experienced by their customers and triggering alarms when there is a problem with the service. Our analytics tools, which have been adopted by dozens of service providers around the world, also identify actions and initiatives that will improve the customer experience – across the applications and services being consumed.

 

We know that consumers have countless connections. We aim to help our service provider customers provide consumers with one fantastic customer experience. And isn’t that a stat that everyone will be happy to see?

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