Smartphones and other Internet-connected mobile devices are opening whole new worlds to consumers. But these devices don’t always function as smoothly as advertised. The complex technology and array of offered services can be confusing for consumers which means telephone companies might soon be upping their service game to give themselves a competitive edge.
The latest research shows that over half of surveyed consumers want to deal with a single company for technical support when they encounter difficulties with the Internet-enabled and communications devices. Service providers are well aware of the situation. Nearly ¾’s indicate they plan to roll out multi-device technical support plans. And nearly half, 49%, realize that if they don’t find a way to keep their customers happy, someone else will. The situation is especially troublesome for telephone companies. These enterprises face a significant threat from cable, software, satellite and media companies according to Accenture.
Communications companies say they are uniquely qualified to provide support to customers for the following reasons:
- Already have a trusted relationship with customers 86%
- Have an existing infrastructure with customers in the home or with personal or office devices 58%
- Have a reputation for technical competence 56%
- Existing billing relationship can be expanded to accommodate tech support billing 54%
- Already providing smartphone support which can be viewed as a hub for other devices 53%
Consumers are hoping for technical support to be provided through online channels (39%), by technicians via chat or email (39%), and by technicians who access consumer computers online during down time. And consumers don't want just any communications providers to help them. Well over half, 58%, of consumers with smartphones say they’d like to have their phone provider offer technical support for these devices.
Kurt Hogan, executive director, Premium Technology Services at Accenture Communications says “People use their Internet-connected and mobile devices across their home and work environments, creating an atmosphere of complexity that makes technical support – and who will provide that support — even more critical.” The Accenture survey also found that “when asked about consumers’ willingness to pay for some types of routine computer services, providers underestimated their willingness to pay by 25 percent.”
Look for telephone companies to begin marketing their technical support services to their customers soon. This strategy is likely to increase revenue and build customer loyalty.
[Source: Telcos Would Benefit by Offering Integrated Technical support. Accenture.com. 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2011]