As smartphone usage grows and consumers start using their phones for more than just voice, the concept of a mobile service provider is changing. According to two surveys, including one performed by Oracle (Redwood Shores, Calif., U.S.A.), a person’s mobile phone is replacing other devices, and in the future will be used for everything from banking to a GPS system.
Oracle surveyed more than 3,000 mobile users around the world and found that mobile devices are becoming more valuable to consumers.
The same survey conducted in 2010 found that 52% of users thought their mobile phone would replace their digital camera by 2015. In the 2011 survey 43% say it already has. Also in the 2010 survey, 54% of users said they thought their mobile phone would replace their music player by 2015. The 2011 survey indicates that 34% of users now use their phone as a music player.
The consolidation of multiple devices into one device that does everything is already in motion, and everything indicates that is will also be true for payment methods. According to the survey, online banking increased from 18% in 2010 to 28% in 2011.
However, many smartphone users are still weary when it comes to using their phone instead of cash or a credit card. Of those surveyed, 68% were either unsure or said that financial information stored or transmitted through a mobile phone was not safe. The security issue may to be stunting the growth of online banking, but in the future, once users view mobile security as safe, mobile payments will be used by a larger number of consumers.
The survey performed by Oracle was also arranged consumer behavior geographically.
In North America (United States and Canada), 56% of those surveyed used a smartphone, less than any other area. The Middle East (United Arab Emirates) had the most with 95% surveyed, followed by Latin American (Mexico and Brazil) with 74%.
When it comes to purchasing a device, North America (39%), Europe (38%), Latin America (45%) and the Middle East (53%) all said that a friend’s recommendation was the most important source when selecting a phone. Asia-Pacific said the most important source was rating sites. Of all those surveyed, 84% said they purchased they phone from a retail store.
According to Dan Ford, vice president of product marketing at Oracle, an increase in personalized experiences, such as interactions at a retail store, is something operators can use to optimize a customer’s experience.
In the second survey by Speechcycle (New York), a company providing customer management services, customer trends were analyzed with the help of Echo Research (London, England), which ended up validating Ford’s statements.
In the survey, over 1,000 smartphone users were asked if they would recommend their service provider to others if they received great customer service on a consistent basis. Of those surveyed, about 66% said they would recommend their service provider.
Also in Speechcycle’s survey, 67% of consumers said they were likely to spend more money with their service provider if they received exceptional customer service, while 60% stated it would take only two or three instances of poor customer service before they would consider switching providers.