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Nuance Study Finds Mobilers Want Customer Service Options, Too

April 15, 2009

Nuance Communications has announced findings from a Yankee Group (News - Alert) study showing -- guess what? -- consumers are more demanding than ever. Wouldn't you know it, they require access to customer care directly from their mobile devices. 

The results of the study revealed that 62 percent of users said they want to bypass automated systems and be given an opportunity to use their mobile phone screen to complete simple inquiries that should not require agent intervention. Over 60 percent of mobile users believe on-device self service is an important offer and want access to it on their mobile phone. 

Additionally, a commanding 80 percent-plus of users surveyed want the ability to complete an entire customer service interaction, such as paying a bill or upgrading an account, directly on their mobile device versus enduring long wait times for a live agent.

And if on-device self service can solve basic consumer inquiries, like paying a bill, directly on the mobile phone, this can save serious cash -- bear in mind that over 60 percent of consumers have contacted customer care more than three times in the last six months. That's some serious overhead there.

Sheryl Kingstone, director of mobile and wireless communications at Yankee Group, says that on-device self service provides this capability by "solving many of the problems subscribers have on the device – providing a powerful user experience and significant cost savings to the operator.”

Mikael Berner, SVP and GM Enterprise Division at Nuance (News - Alert), called self-service on the mobile device "the next natural progression of the call center.”

The mobile users surveyed had an age span across all demographics, with 18-24 year-olds admitting to using their mobile phone all the time, even at home, while the 55-58 year age group also held strong at 42 percent. Additionally, the study illustrates trends similar to that of desktop Internet use stating by 2012 mobile Internet habits should resemble that of today’s PC habits. Based on the Yankee Group research, 50 percent of respondents call to question a line item on a bill, 44 percent call to pay a bill and 24 percent call just to get a confirmation of an automated transaction.

In late February TMC reported that recent trials and deployments of the Nuance Mobile Care product have, according to the company, “proven to reduce calls being directed to live agents by over sixty percent.”

The product is engineered to give users the ability to self-solve simple problems, including customer care and billing, directly and instantly on the handset. This is being pitched as a way to eliminate wait times for customer service agents and reduce costs.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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