Friday, August 05, 2005

Spiraling Customer Service Costs for Wireless Carriers

Julie Ask posts about her latest customer service experience with Verizon Wireless on the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs. It's a good example of the challenges the industry faces trying to promote mobile devices, content and services to consumers.

Being a gadget geek, I will usually know more about a specific product or service than the average salesperson or customer service rep. This is a not a knock against the industry. It's just that I will research something to death if I am interested in it, and you can't blame the sales or customer rep for not knowing everything about the Widget5000 or whether app x works on handset z.

Ask rightfully notes that "a proliferation of handsets, varying availability of applications, varying degrees of 3G coverage - must be driving the cost of customer service through the roof." And as Ask's customer service experience shows, the carriers' own employees are having a hard time keeping track of what's on offer.

When you factor in the average consumer doesn't know how to use many of the features on their handset and have trouble finding content and services on the network, you begin to realize the industry has an even bigger problem on its hands.

As I keep on harping, the industry needs to make it much easier for Joe Consumer to learn how to use a cell phone and explore the network if they want to drive more revenue from content and services. This will also free up more time for them to service their more difficult me...