A global study on the habits and priorities of mobile users has shown that those using mobile broadband services frequently are the most likely to switch their operator.
Over 40 per cent of the of more than 16,000 mobile subscribers interviewed for the study were identified as heavy users of advanced services and of these more than half had swapped operators in the previous years, with approximately 40 per cent ready to switch providers in the next 12 months.
The annual acquisition and retention study, commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), shows that the impact of mobile broadband quality on customer retention significantly increased in 2011.
“Network coverage and voice quality were rated as the most important criteria in 2010 and continue to be among the top criteria to retain customers in 2011. However customers who are classified as ‘heavy users of advanced services’ now rank mobile broadband quality alongside voice quality and network coverage in determining to leave or stay with their mobile operator,” states a media release issued after the results were published.
People who chose their mobile operator for the first time, and subscribers who swapped operators during the last six months, also ranked voice quality, network coverage and mobile broadband quality as the three top criteria in determining their operator.
According to the report, customers rated high speed mobile broadband as the most important service over the next few years. Unfavourable contract conditions, the high cost of devices and voice services, unfavorable tariff schemes, operators’ device portfolios and poor mobile broadband quality attracted the highest dissatisfaction ratings globally.
The study further reveals that given the rise in smartphone subscriber numbers, heavy users of advanced services will become the most prevalent subscribers in the future.
“The number of users in this segment increased dramatically by 34 per cent in mature markets in 2011, and more than half of them are below 35 years. According to the study, about 60 per cent of these users expect excellent network quality even if it costs a little more, and about 45 per cent are ready to pay extra for special mobile services such as security packages or GPS-based services,” adds the release.
“Our study highlights the need to focus on high value customers and improve the quality of mobile broadband to acquire, satisfy and retain mobile customers,” said Amiram Mel, NSN’s head of customer experience management.
He added that it “is vital for operators to provide a personalized experience by using the information they have about how customers use their mobile services, to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.”
This is because customer insights enable operators to prioritize individually selected services and allocate their precious network resources to match the service expectations of different customer segments.