Customer service is an under-appreciated component of the mobile business, as Google is learning the hard way with the launch of its Nexus One. And its importance will only grow in the next few years as connectivity expands beyond phones and laptops into consumer electronics, health care apps and the automotive world, to name just a few. Those offerings will require carriers to become a part of complicated new business models with multiple players from various industries. And they’ll present an opportunity for carriers to bring added value to the table (GigaOM Pro, sub. required) by serving as a primary point of contact for consumers using the new gadgets. Customer service can be an expensive business riddled with the high overhead of costly call centers, but abdicating the role to manufacturers or application service providers would be even more costly as our world becomes increasingly connected.
As Google is learning the hard way, customer care is a crucial component the mobile world. And its importance will increase as connectivity extends to a wide range of devices and applications. That presents a key opportunity for carriers to bring added value to the table.