Consumers expect mobile operators to deliver an experience that can match benchmarks set by other service industries.

’Transforming Experiences’, Ericsson ConsumerLab’s India study, gives a detailed analysis of Indian consumers’ expectations from their mobile operators. The study ranks 12 different service industries including mobile operators on nine performance attributes, including the ability to quickly solve problems, ease of making payments, and innovation. The study also focuses on touch-points that operators can address to transform consumer satisfaction and loyalty. The survey represents the opinions of 100m urban Indian mobile consumers.

Resolving problems quickly has the maximum impact on driving consumer satisfaction across all industries. The benchmarking analysis revealed that airlines, online shopping, and fast food industries were ranked high by consumers on overall consumer experience offered due to transparency, punctuality, and innovation. Mobile operators are comparatively behind on such service expectations.

The report highlights areas that operators can focus on to deliver a superior consumer experience. "Findings across four markets (US, India, Brazil and Russia) highlighted customer service as an important touch point to drive consumer satisfaction." said Ericsson’s Region India Head, Chris Houghton. "For India, initial purchase experience and customer service emerged as priority touch points." One in three urban mobile users claim they do not find mobile plans that best suit their usage patterns, and 85% rate quick activation of services as very important.

The ConsumerLab study found that mobile broadband consumers with a positive service experience are three times more loyal to their operator than a consumer with a dissatisfied customer service experience. "Mobile broadband customer service needs more focus as smartphone users are twice as likely to face issues such as slow speeds and dropped data connections," said Houghton. Poor customer service, network or mobile internet performance accounts for half of the issues faced by mobile users who are looking to switch operators.

To retain smartphone users, operators must fulfill basic needs such as high accuracy in billing/charging, high quality network performance and delighters such as assured mobile internet speeds, rewards, and loyalty programs. All of these factors will increase satisfaction proportionately.

Additionally, operators must equip customer care executives with the tools needed to improve service delivery. Highlighting the need for transformation in customer service, the study found that three out of five telecom customer care agents find it difficult to respond to the more complex queries presented by data intensive users. Over 77% indicated a need for a single unified view of the customer’s account. This will help them take decisions in the best interest of consumers while improving consumer experience. The long hold times experienced when calling mobile operators’ customer care centers is often because 40% of agents claim they have to switch between four screens to solve a single query.

A quarter of urban mobile users are currently facing issues with their operator. However, on average, just under half of all problems are relayed back to the operator. The impact of a poor experience has 47% of consumers thinking of switching operators.

Read the report Transforming Experiences