Mobile Operators Fail to Deliver Multi-channel Customer Service

shutterstock_295421723Mobile operators are failing to deliver accessible customer service to consumers, with multi-channel efforts either serving to confuse the public, or acting as window dressing or a delaying mechanism that angers consumers even more.

Thats according to a new poll of UK consumers by customer service tech experts Eckoh, who found that tech-savvy consumers were feeling increasingly aggrieved at the difficulty they faced in getting service from mobile companies, despite supposed commitments to omnichannel customer service.

73 per cent of customers had to repeat details of their complaint in separate interactions during the resolution process, with respondents citing complex telephone menus that dont take caller requirements into account, along with lengthy waiting times and poorly designed contact pages, as some of their key pain points.

“In too many cases, shoppers find that their mobile service providers are implementing multi-flannel strategies, better at hindering communication that improving it,” said Tony Porter, head of global communications for Eckoh. “Mobile companies without a coherent customer service infrastructure are, in the eyes of the customers, at best falling short of expectations, and at worst seen as deliberately obstructive.”

While 47 per cent of those surveyed found phone communication the most frustrating method, 32 per cent also cited it as the most useful way of communicating with a service provider, ahead of all other methods, even when around a third of respondents said they had waited for 10 to 15 minutes on their most recent call.

32 per cent called email the most difficult method of communication, with websites and online chat services faring best, at 16 per cent and five per cent respectively. Online chat was rated as the most convenient method by 26 per cent of respondents.

Mobile operators were rated as the most difficult type of company to connect with, ahead of utilities firms, broadband providers, pay TV firms and retailers. With the majority of respondents routinely using more than four communication channels to reach companies, a coherent and functional multi-channel strategy is clearly needed.

“Its vital that mobile companies execute better when it comes to multi- and omnichannel,” said Porter. “There are customer retention risks and series problems with the validity of customer data if businesses dont do a better job at uniting the various contact streams. Multi-channel shouldnt mean parallel lines. It means shared intelligence and converged service.”