The Mobile Loyalty Audit. Just how loyal are today’s mobile customers?
May 17, 2014
The Mobile Loyalty Audit cuts through industry data, talking to over 4000 customers to understand how they really feel about their mobile operator and smartphone brand. What’s creating loyalty, and what’s breaking it in today’s hyper-competitive market?
The industry’s reliance on churn as a measure of loyalty is misguided. Churn measures only
those customers who have already left. It gives no indication of the loyalty of those that are retained.
Understanding how the support experience impacts brand satisfaction and how the frequency of support interactions can influence retention are just two examples of insight that can be used to build more robust indicators of loyalty.
• At any one time, 34% of customers are considering switching mobile operator.
• The likelihood to switch mobile operator decreases with age.
Customers under the age of 34 are x2 more likely to be at risk of switching than those over 34.
Customers were asked what a competitor could do to tempt them away from their current mobile operator. Although customers with high satisfaction or a willingness to recommend their mobile operator were less susceptible to competitive offers, a significant proportion remained at risk.
• 48% of <24yr olds would churn for a bigger data allowance, 47% would switch for faster data speeds.
• High spenders were the most susceptible to competitive threats. 55% would switch for
better coverage, 52% would go for faster data speeds or a bigger data allowance and 42% would go for a better loyalty/rewards program.
• Customers that have contacted customer support more than once in the last six months were more receptive to competitor offers. 50% would leave for better customer service, better data speeds or bigger data allowance.
A reliable service is the most important consideration for new customers
The decision to purchase a new service plan is not a simple one. Customers are faced with a range of tariffs, speeds and data usage policies. In many markets, where service is bundled with a device, the complexity is even greater.
• Quality of service remains the number one consideration for customers. Network coverage and service reliability are very important to 89% and 91% of customers, respectively.
• Customer service also rated highly, particularly among +45yr olds where 82% rate it as very important in their decision making.
• In many markets, 4G services are yet to fully resonate with customers. Globally, just 51% of customers rated 4G as very important and 24% considered it not important at all in their purchasing criteria.
• High spend customers placed far greater importance on customer service, 89% said this was very important compared to an average of 79%. Loyalty and rewards were also of greater importance to high spenders.
58% of customers will switch brands when it’s time to replace their device
As the frequency with which customers replace their smartphones increases, brand loyalty becomes a vital measure for device manufacturers.
• On average, 58% of customers will switch brands when it’s time to replace their device.
• Globally, Apple leads brand retention. 75% of its customers replace their device with
another Apple device. In second place, Samsung achieves a 54% retention rate. All
other brands saw retention rates under 40%.
• Samsung is the single largest benefactor of migrating customers. 33% of customers
who switched device brands moved to Samsung. 20% switched to Apple.
• Brand retention is not affected by age, gender or subscription type (prepay vs postpaid).
Brand satisfaction is defined by how well the mobile operator meets (and exceeds) its customers’ expectations. It’s an important measure and mobile operators have long understood that improving customer satisfaction enhances not only retention, but the ability to upsell.
• Satisfaction is correlated to a customer’s intent to repurchase. A customer with low satisfaction is x8 times more likely to switch.
• Customer satisfaction with mobile operator brands remains low. Just 35% of customers are highly satisfied with their mobile operator and a quarter (25%) claim low satisfaction.
• Satisfaction is impacted by both age and tenure. The percentage of highly satisfied customers climbs to 44% among +60yr olds. This compares to 30% for 16-34 yr olds.
• Satisfaction falls after the first six months of service (from 34% highly satisfied) to 28% by the end of the first year and then levels of high satisfaction continue to fall until the third year.
Source Mobile Loyalty Audit 2014 MDS a Xerox Company