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Mobile Companies Fail to Meet Customer Service Needs Online
Posted: 17-Nov-2010 [Source: OpTier]

[A study conducted by Dimensional Research found that 72 percent of U.S. mobile phone users go online to view or pay bills, upgrade their phone, change their calling plan or purchase content. Yet more than half (51 percent) stated that they have experienced 'significant' problems in doing so.]

New York -- U.S. consumers have declared that mobile operators are falling short of their online customer service standards. A study conducted by Dimensional Research, an independent research firm, for Business Transaction Management (BTM) software company OpTier, has found that 72 percent of mobile phone users in the U.S. are heading online to view or pay a bill, upgrade their phone, change their calling plan or purchase content. Yet more than half (51 percent) stated that they have experienced 'significant' problems in doing so. Users identified poor performance, website functionality and usability as prominent pet peeves when using their mobile operator's portal.

Adding to the pain for mobile operators, 74 percent of consumers said they will call their service provider if their inquiry is not resolved online. This means that mobile service providers could be missing out on the potential cost savings of providing online customer service, as visitors get disillusioned with self-service only portals and instead choose to call customer service.

"In an age where time is at a premium, people expect the online portals they are accessing, either from their phone or computer, to work. At a time when there is little to distinguish one provider from another, a poor experience does not engender brand loyalty. While the results of this research show that consumers initially favor the self-service aspect of websites, many service providers are failing to capitalize on it," said Russell Rothstein, vice president of product marketing at OpTier.

It's not just online support that respondents flagged as an area for improvement. Demand for real-time entertainment has already increased, and the rise of smartphones means that the trend is set to continue. Seventy percent of respondents stated that their network had failed to support their use of real-time entertainment on the move. With 73 percent of consumers active on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, it can take only seconds for one individual's negative experience to come to the attention of hundreds of people. Respondents ages 24 and under were more likely to complain via their social network, with 71 percent stating that they had already done so.

BTM technology such as OpTier BTMâ„¢ is one way for mobile operators to ensure high-quality customer service online. Traditional monitoring systems do not provide the necessary transparency to prevent these problems from occurring. With OpTier BTM, organizations can accurately and continuously monitor transaction response times for websites and other IT resources, and isolate and resolve issues more quickly. This improves the performance of corporate portals and websites, helps to prevent service outages and ensures that changes in IT infrastructure do not adversely impact customers.

"We operate in a content driven world, where people are open about their frustrations. This represents both an opportunity and a threat for mobile operators," Rothstein concluded. "With BTM, mobile operators and other organizations can monitor consumer activity and be alerted to problematic transactions in real-time so issues can be resolved before they negatively impact customer experience."

Dimensional Research surveyed 539 Americans ages 18 and over during October 2010.

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