Asia Pacific call centres weighed down by smartphones

Monday, 21 February 2011 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

APAC service providers face more challenges with catering to smartphone users than their worldwide counterparts, according to a survey commissioned by Amdocs and released at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The survey, which covered 55 wireless providers worldwide late last year, said operator call centre challenges brought about by the smartphone era include an increase in average handling times and volume of calls.

Respondents also indicated an increased need to divert calls to specialised call centre representatives and an increase in time required to resolve smartphone related issues.

Six in ten respondents believed that the volume of smartphone-related calls had increased by between 10% and 25% over the last two years.

The same percentage also believed that the average cost for supporting smartphone users lay between 10% and 50% above that of standard feature phones, due in part to longer call times.

According to respondents, costs were further driven up as many cases involved issues where the initial call centre officer proved unable to rectify the issue.

While service providers were naturally looking to increase the ARPU of smartphone users through data plans, problems existed in the form of customer ignorance.

Research results indicated over 2/3 of smartphone customers did not utilise data services due to a lack of knowledge, and this issue was more prevalent in APAC compared to other regions.