Customers Still Crave Face-to-Face Support
Despite significant numbers of shoppers moving online for the purchase of connected devices, bricks-and-mortar electrical retail stores still play a primary role across the EU5 (France, UK, Italy, Germany and Spain).
When it comes to after-sales support for a device, whether that be physical damage or a software issue, many consumers will return to the store they purchased it from. But retailers need the appropriate tools to ensure a smooth customer experience, whilst optimising their time and sales opportunities.
Electrical retailers across the EU5 still play a primary role in how people purchase their connected devices, despite the move to online for many shoppers. The most common purchase channel for laptops and tablets is in person at a retail store, with the stores sitting alongside networks as the channel of choice for smartphone purchases. As more and more devices become connected, electrical retailers have significant opportunities in this area but could also face threats from networks that may have more expertise or flexibility in the way they serve mobile customers.
Connected devices have become increasingly important to people as the advancements in technology have changed our behaviours; 9 out of 10 people say that their connected devices are important to them and nearly 6 in 10 say they could not live without their devices. The most commonly owned device is a smartphone – around 80% across our market – and behaviours have moved away from call and SMS services to data usage. Phones have also replaced the need for items such as digital cameras, PDA’s, music players and even maps.
Assurant’s ‘Device Ownership and Incidents Report, 2015’ found that 36.5 million handsets are lost, stolen, damaged or break down each year in the EU5 and the vast majority of these are not covered by insurance. Following an incident around 15% of people will turn to the electrical retailer where they purchased their device for support, many of whom end up having to purchase a new device. Many of the incidents suffered are breakdown or damage to a device, and half of retailers tell us that they spend between 5 and 20 minutes supporting a customer – precious time away from potentially being able to introduce and sell new products to customers. Furthermore, 1 in 4 retailers state that they are unable to resolve a customer’s issue when they come to the store.
Assurant is the leading provider of mobile device insurance across the EU5 and also has a range of options to support electrical retailers help their customers. We can offer diagnostic tools to enable customers to self-serve and resolve technical issues, integrated repair management services and trade-in, upgrade and finance options. Moreover these solutions present a great opportunity to improve engagement and advocacy with a retailers’ brand.