No Surprise: Study Finds Churn is Related to Device Customer Service

You likely would not be surprised to learn there is a link between customer churn and user experience with their devices, as well as a link between perceived poor customer or repair service.

A 2015 Ovum study found that poor customer experience around phone problems can increase churn when customers blame phone problems or poor repair service on the operator or retailer, according to Stas Wolk, Cellebrite VP.

According to the study, which surveyed 4,000 smartphone users across four countries, 14 percent of respondents said that they would look into purchasing their next handsets through different providers, based on their malfunction experience.

This number increased to 18 percent among customers who sought help for issues with decreasing software speed, Wolk says. And nearly 70 percent of smartphone users report having experienced device issues in the past year.  

Of those users who plan to switch providers following dissatisfaction with operators’ repair services, 25 percent cited customer service as a top three reason for churn.

Unreported problems can be an equally big problem, over time. When asked who they first turned to for help after discovering a smartphone problem, 28 percent of consumer respondents said they turned to no one and continued to use the phone as it was.

Some 33 percent of respondents, who encountered problems after the warranty on the device expired, reported they did not report the issues to their carrier.

The service provider, more than any other single contributor in the ecosystem, is going to take most of the direct impact of service activity related to use of the devices, whether that is “fair” or not.

A revamped customer service experience could capture those 14 percent  to 18 percent of customers at risk of switching to a different provider, while bolstering loyalty among the rest of an operator’s existing customer base.

Consumers prefer the convenience and immediate results of easy and effective self-serve solutions.

Of all possible repair channels, 79 percent of customer respondents said they would “definitely” or “likely” use a self-service solution to solve their smartphone malfunction woes. In comparison, 68 percent responded that they would likely resort to in-store service, and 67 percent would opt for online service.
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