An Amdocs survey of the key drivers of brand perceptions and customer experiences found that, in mobile phone operators' retail stores, 25% of customers intending to buy an upgrade or a new handset had left the store without making a purchase.
The survey of more than 4,000 consumers in the UK, US and Canada examined the opinions of mobile phone-using consumers who had visited a service provider's retail store during the past six months, and found that 60% had visited the store to buy a new handset or upgrade their existing device.
However, of the 25% who left the store without making a purchase, half of these failed purchases could have been avoided if the retailer had been able to deliver a better customer experience.
Despite the increasingly common option to purchase both devices and mobile plans online, consumers still generally choose to visit their service provider's retail outlet. The top three reasons cited for doing so were:
- The ability to obtain the device right away;
- Direct access to the device to "touch and feel" it before purchasing;
- To consult with an expert regarding the device's features and rate plans.
The top reasons for abandoning a planned purchase were:
- The store representative was either not knowledgeable enough about the devices or service plans;
- The wait time to complete the transaction was too long.
Store sales staff received the lowest customer ratings in the areas of speed of service, as well as for their concern as to whether or not the customer had purchased the best service plan or handset to meet their needs. The highest ratings were awarded for courtesy and friendliness.
Interestingly, the survey noted that a smartphone transaction takes an average of 15% longer than a traditional handset purchase, with increased time and resources being devoted to identifying the right product, completing the paperwork, and finalising the purchase.
Only 64% of the consumers surveyed said that the in-store experience had met their expectations and, while the majority of customers left the store having had their expectations met, a worryingly small proportion (less than 20%) said that the experience had improved their perception of their service provider.