A survey of more than 1,000 smartphone users has bought into sharp focus the importance of customer service in today's competitive service provider market 

The study by SpeechCycle also uncovered significant consumer interest in using self-service mobile applications for customer care. Conducted by Echo Research, the study revealed that customers are likely to make both positive and negative decisions about their relationships with service providers based on customer service alone. 

In today's competitive service provider marketplace, consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to selecting a vendor for their mobile phone, Internet or cable/satellite services. With these providers becoming increasingly equal in terms of price point and technology, customer service has become the differentiator that often sets providers apart. 

To this point, the SpeechCycle sponsored study found that based on a positive customer experience, consumers are likely to become brand ambassadors for their service providers: 

Over two thirds (67 percent) of consumers would likely be willing to spend more money with their service provider if they consistently received exceptional customer service. 

Further, two thirds (65 percent) of respondents would be very likely to recommend their service provider to others if they received great customer service on a consistent basis. 

  • In contrast, a negative customer experience can have a dramatic and detrimental impact for service providers: 

  • Three in five consumers (60 percent) stated it would take only two or three instances of poor customer service from a mobile phone, Internet or cable/satellite TV service provider before they would consider switching providers. 

  • Nearly one in five (18 percent) would consider switching providers immediately after an initial poor customer service experience. 

For service providers looking to get ahead of the curve and find new ways to create unique and positive customer experiences, mobile smartphone applications are becoming the next frontier in customer service. Now is the time for service providers to utilize the unique capabilities of mobile applications and the ability to combine text, talk and touch features for ease of use and powerful self-service. Findings from the study support this trend, including:


  • Consumers surveyed have downloaded an average of 10 apps in the past six months and the majority (69 percent) use their apps daily with over half (55 percent) saying they use them several times a day. 

  • Nine in 10 consumers (90 percent) have taken action — such as going online to search for solutions — to avoid calling customer service completely, especially amongst 18-34 year olds (95 percent). 

  • Half of smartphone users would prefer to use a mobile customer service application to try to resolve their customer service issue before calling into the contact center (50 percent) and 56 percent would be willing to use an app to avoid calling into the contact center altogether. 

  • Four out of five (79 percent) smartphone users would view their mobile, cable/satellite or Internet provider more positively if they offered a mobile customer service app. 

"Many consumers prefer to use self-service channels with two thirds stating they have tried to resolve their issues themselves rather than call customer service. To retain and attract customers in today's competitive environment, service providers must find better ways to communicate and resolve customer service issues," said Scott Kolman, senior vice president of marketing at SpeechCycle. 

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