Mobile operators who lead in loyalty outperform their competition in network and service quality, as well as in customer care, according to the 2014 Acquisition and Retention Study Report from Nokia.
While retention drivers vary by market maturity, delivering excellent quality keeps customers happy and loyal. The study results also show that churn continues to keep operators on their toes with 40% of customers globally planning to switch provider in the next 12 months.
The appetite for applications is not easing off. The share of heavy users of advanced services keeps rising globally, currently covering 69% of all customers. The share of heavy users is specifically high in mature markets, reaching 75%, up from 67% a year ago, and is as high as 84% of users in very advanced markets with top notch LTE networks, like Korea.
But customers do not want quantity at the cost of quality. Showing a two percentage point increase from the2013 report, now 41% of customers globally think an operator must offer excellent network quality, even if it costs more. Messaging and Internet service quality is below customer expectations in all markets with 60% experiencing problems with mobile data and application usage.
Cost and billing plays a key role across markets when deciding to stay with an operator, but is specifically important for emerging markets where 49% of customers consider it to be the most important factor when deciding to stay with an operator, with network and service quality following at 25%.
For in-transition markets, the importance of network and service quality jumps up to 37%. In mature markets, quality drops to 29%, giving way to customer care, which is now at 18%.
Security is another focus area for customers. The study report also shows that 75% of customers consider security to be the operator’s responsibility. Of those 89% who think security is important, 40% are likely to churn in case of security issues. 40% are also willing to pay extra for security protection.