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.

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.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. I had AT&T which clearly sucks in customer care. They are mostly not open when you need them (i.e evenings and weekends) and have a wait time of atleast 30 minutes for any of there calls.

    Even at the same cost as its competitor. I switched. Simply because they suck at customer service

  2. This is an interesting take on why customer care should be improved. I had never thought of improving industry to industry customer care, but now that you mention it that will become important as mobile becomes more pervasive. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. I assume Google will keep doing this only for sometime. Later on, like, most of the big companies does, they will forget replying or helping out customer with small problems.. that’s how it works!

    Bigger you get; lesser you care.

  4. With the operators all more or less delivering the same services, differentiators remaining are brand, network performance, devices and support. Sprint vs. Verizon over the past few years is very informative as it illustrates well the impact that viewing support as a strategic differentiator as Verizon does can have versus a similar competitor who viewed support as a cost center and a place to minimize spending.

    On this device, clearly Google has a lot to learn. The kids in the Googleplex are bright but young and inexperienced. Sometimes this lack of experience doesn’t matter because they are pioneers, in other cases, like the Nexus One, it shows in a very unflattering way.

    For those interested, I have a piece on TMCnet about Google’s Nexus One and the Brave New World of Non-Support http://call-center-software.tmcnet.com/topics/call-center-services/articles/72917-googles-nexus-one-the-brave-new-world-non.htm

    We (InnoPath Software, Sunnyvale-based mobile customer support software company) also have an upcoming webinare where we reveal what we learned from a joint Economist/InnoPath survey of global mobile operators, free: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/506259667

  5. McGuire’s Law » Blog Archive » Observations: Carriers – February 9, 2010 Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    [...] Why Carriers Should Care About Customer Care [...]

  6. Philippe Winthrop Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Interesting article and commentary. I’d like to offer the enterprise mobility perspective: http://bit.ly/buF2Fq

  7. The Enterprise Mobility Forum — Blog — Smartphone Customer Care: A Blessing For Operators Or A Curse For IT Departments? Monday, February 15, 2010

    [...] quick break from today’s busy schedule I came across this rather interesting article at GigaOM talking about why wireless carriers should care about customer [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post