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Posted by on in Mobility
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Research Sheds Light on Mobile Devices and Wireless Churn

Customers' experiences with their wireless devices can have a major impact on a wireless carrier. Offering the wrong device – or failing to support it properly – can negatively impact the bottom line, as new research from Biancco Technology Group illustrates. The combination of faulty mobile devices and ineffective care would prompt 31 percent of wireless customers to switch mobile carriers, according to Biancco, which surveyed more than 1,400 mobile users globally. Another one-third would change to mobile devices from different manufacturers.

Mobile Devices and Wireless Churn

Just under half of respondents (49 percent) would seek help within three days of experiencing problems with devices. About 1 in 10 (9 percent) would seek help in less than three hours, according to Biancco.

"When consumers head in-store for help, they're usually under the assumption that customer service agents, sales representatives and repair specialists are geniuses in troubleshooting and fixing their mobile devices," commented Amit Mahajan, CTO of SmartChk by Xcaliber Technologies, a division of Blancco Technology Group, in a press release. "In reality, a vast majority of support staff are young, immature and lack adequate training – and there isn't any mobile diagnostics solution or technology on-site to close that skills gap."

Both the number and complexity of mobile device customer repair requests is increasing, Biancco noted. Large network operators field more than 1 million mobile device repairs every month, according to market research from Accenture.

Mahajan said the rapid growth in repair requests can be characterized as a ¨return and churn¨ problem. "Since nearly 60-80 percent of devices being returned are not actually faulty, consumers are swapping their perceived 'faulty' devices for new ones or having to spend money on replacement phones, when they could, in fact, easily be repaired.

"Given that the costs associated with these 'no fault found' returns can range from $50-$100 per device, it's also putting a significant, yet avoidable, burden on network operators' retail operations."

Other highlights of Biancco's report include:

  • Short-lived batteries and frozen/crashed apps are the root of mobile woes. 38 percent of respondents cite battery life as the most common type of device issue they experience, while 13 percent say frozen/crashed apps occur most frequently.
  • Camera/video quality and lack of storage space rank low among consumer priorities. Only 2 percent of respondents cite poor camera/video quality as the most frustrating fault with their devices, despite our 'selfie-obsessed' culture. Meanwhile, just 8 percent are bothered by insufficient storage space.
  • Seeing is believing - consumers want tangible proof of device errors. For 26 percent of respondents, a physical report displaying all diagnostics tests run on their device would 100% affect their satisfaction and loyalty with their mobile carriers and device manufacturers. Plus, it would factor into the overall satisfaction of 31 percent of respondents.

With problem, comes opportunity. Service providers with personnel who can solve customers' problems – or better yet, who can provide upfront training to avoid those problems – should really shine in a market where so many companies lack those all-important customer care skills.

Chuck Harris leads the Alliance Development Team for NetAmerica Allaince whose mission it is to grow NetAmerica's 4G LTE footprint by working with wireless license holders across the U.S. interested in joining the NetAmerica Alliance to provide 4G LTE service to citizens in rural America.