When it came to out-of-warranty smartphones, customers in India spend Rs 2,400 on average on servicing their devices, a new report revealed on Tuesday.
One in every four smartphone owners in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Noida and Ahmedabad visits a service centre within six months of purchase, according to the study by market intelligence firm Counterpoint Research. Problems related to charging, software (or device hanging) and display were the most common faced by the respondents.
According to senior Analyst Pavel Naiya, after-sales service has become a key factor influencing the purchase decision for a new smartphone.
"It helps build long-term customer loyalty. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many after-sales service processes have been affected in India and abroad," Naiya said in a statement. Under these circumstances, leading brands have taken initiatives to digitise the service delivery process, reduce wait times and maintain contactless delivery.
"As a result, two-thirds of the respondents received their smartphones within a day while about half of the respondents said that the parts required for the service were available at the service centre," Naiya added.
The first visit after purchase is an indication of user awareness of software functionality and product quality. In many cases, users visit the service centre to learn how to enable or disable some software functions, the study found. In case of parts brought from outside, more than eight out of 10 respondents said these were received within three days.
OPPO was the No 1 brand in customer satisfaction for after-sales service with 93% of the respondents rating their experience "very good" or "excellent", followed by Vivo (85%), Xiaomi (81%) and Samsung (81%).
Other than effective service delivery, maintaining hygiene and social distancing were mandatory for the safety of employees as well as visitors.
"Samsung maintained contactless submission and collection of smartphones better than others. Usage of hand gloves and face shields was more common at the vivo service centres, followed by Samsung," said Research Associate Arushi Chawla.