HTC Eyes Customer Experience and Mobile World Congress

With the Mobile World Congress just around the corner, running February 24-27 in Barcelona, many smartphone manufacturers are beginning to provide details regarding new devices and services that will be shown off in full at the annual event. Hundreds of telecom-related companies will be at MWC this year but speculation has been building particularly in relation to HTC Corp.

The Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer on Tuesday announced its new "HTC Advantage" program, which will provide certain guarantees to its customers, including free replacement of a screen broken within six months of purchase, and Android updates for two years. HTC, which has been struggling financially in recent months, hopes that the HTC Advantage program will improve the customer experience and provide new leverage in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

Targeting Customer Satisfaction

Although some of its products like the flagship HTC One smartphone are popular, HTC only has a small share of the overall smartphone market, especially when compared with Samsung and Apple. HTC recently made it clear that in 2014 and 2015, it will begin to shift its focus back to less expensive devices. At the same time though, the Advantage program will be used to enhance the company's image with existing and potential customers.

Ed Kuhner, HTC's new vice president of customer experience, said the new Advantage program is about providing the things that any premium smartphone company should be offering.

"Keeping customers happy is something we believe a premium product maker should do," Kuhner said in a statement. "So we commit to continually listening to our customers and developing new, innovative solutions based on customer feedback and addressing their pain points over time -- that's the HTC Advantage."

Other executives at HTC Americas, including President Jason Mackenzie, echoed the points made by Kuhner. Mackenzie said that "carrying that commitment beyond the handset purchase"...

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