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A new study by Nokia has revealed the main reasons for people choosing their current mobile network. Of course, price was the number one reason, but there are a number of interesting trends nonetheless.
Nokia’s 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study polled over 20 000 users in 14 countries (including South Africa), covering both “mature” and “transition” markets.
Why are people on their current network?
The study unsurprisingly found pricing to be the main factor, with 45% of users choosing this as the number one reason for joining their carrier.
It was a tight race for second place, as best network coverage/quality (26%), best geographical network coverage (25%) and “most of my family/friends use it” (22%) followed pricing.
Customer care came in fifth place with 17%, tied with complimentary products/services.
“Besides the more traditional reasons for choosing an operator, many consumers are now starting to consider factors such as customer care, the availability of complimentary services and even the data protection and additional security features available when selecting a new mobile provider.”
What could cause consumers to leave?
The Finnish company also shed light on customers’ likelihood of staying with their current network, using four retention categories (network quality, cost and billing, customer care and service/device portfolio).
It found that cost and billing was still the most important category influencing people to leave the network (at 40%). This was followed by network quality (26%), customer care (24%) and service/device portfolio (10%).
By comparison, the 2014 study saw cost and billing at 45%, network quality at 34%, customer care at 15% and service/device portfolio at 6%.
When it came to cost and billing, the study found that calling plans and rate structures were increasingly important within this category. It found that customers will “often choose easy-to-understand terms and conditions over price.”
The biggest change in the study came via the customer care retention category, which saw a 60% increase from 2014 (nine percentage points), Nokia noted.
“Respondents say better general services, self-service capabilities and effective complaint handling are increasingly important to them. Customer care is now basically on par with network quality as a deciding factor to stay with a mobile provider,” the company explained.
“The growing importance of customer care is consistent across both mature and transition markets.”