This blog is by Ricardo Silva, global corporate marketing manager at Nokia Siemens Networks.
For U.S. wireless providers today, acquiring new customers is one thing; but actually retaining them is another. A variety of factors goes into customers’ decisions about which service provider will garner their loyalty, and it can be difficult for them to know where to focus their retention efforts. In order to help assess customer loyalty and the risks of customer churn, we surveyed more than 1,300 people in the U.S. on their feelings toward their wireless operators. The survey was part of our global 2013 Acquisition & Retention Study Report.
What we found is that in a mature mobile market such as the U.S., customers are generally satisfied with their operators, rating both network coverage and voice quality as at least satisfactory. But there is a growing willingness among them to consider change. In 2011, the likelihood of churn was 30%, but this has now risen to 39%. Meanwhile, there are more heavy users of advanced mobile services such as web browsing, GPS navigation and mobile video than before (this grew 17% in the U.S.). These individuals are even more likely to consider switching carriers. Younger people are also more likely to be in the group that would consider changing.
We can see that more people are making their mobile devices a central part of their lives, with more and more having access to mobile Internet capabilities. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds consider their mobile device as their main home phone. Perhaps as a result, more of the customers in mature markets are willing to spend extra on special services. In particular, this trend is a given in the U.S. market where 28% of end users are willing to pay extra today, compared to only 21% in the year before.
Additionally, 49% agree that their mobile operator must offer excellent network quality, even if it costs a bit more (in 2011 it was 43%). But their loyalty also has a price – one-quarter say they would switch carriers if it meant a savings of 11 to 20%, and one in 10 would actually switch for even less.
Overall, the survey shows that there are a lot of things that today’s operators are doing right for their customers. But there is also room for improvement to reduce the risk of customer churn. For more details on the 2013 Nokia Siemens Networks Acquisition & Retention Study Report, we invite you to read the Executive Summary.