According to a recent study by Epsilon, a quarter of consumers surveyed were unsure of what communications services provider they were going to select for mobile phone, internet, local/long distance calling, cable TV and satellite TV. Consumers who know which provider they will choose are much less sensitive to price – highlighting the value of loyalty to a brand. Findings from the study describe opportunities for communications services marketers to engage undecided consumers and improve existing relationships while building loyalty.
The survey of approximately 200 consumers who recently purchased a communications service analyzed the experience throughout the selection process. A cross-section of a larger Epsilon survey of 1500 US consumers, the study was part of a comprehensive listening exercise designed to explore the current state of Customer Experience Marketing, an approach to deliver relevant interactions that anticipate and respond to the many ways consumers want to engage, shop and buy today. The study gathered data across multiple product categories including televisions, computers, hotels, auto insurance, mobile devices, communication services and credit cards.
In the key findings from Epsilon’s communications services survey:
* Only 38% of consumers surveyed definitely knew which provider they were going to use, meaning almost 2 out of 3 consumers are “in play” to some degree when they are making a choice;
* For consumers who didn’t know or were pretty sure of the company they were going to select, the most popular reasons for their decision are that the company offers bundled services and desired products/features;
* For consumers who definitely know which provider they are going to select, best value for the money and a friend/family recommendation also heavily influence their decision;
* Consumers who have “no idea” when they start the evaluation process are most influenced by print, postal mail and TV advertising. Those who were “pretty sure” of their selection find radio to be the most influential source of information;
* The most important sources of information are brand websites, a friend/family and a salesperson;
* Consumers are most interested in hearing about sales/discount offers and rate changes;
* The preferred channel for receiving information about communications services by existing customers is email.
“If communications services marketers can understand what is causing consumers to switch providers and address manageable attrition risks, they can significantly improve their bottom line. In addition, there’s a clear shift towards customization of services matched to the needs of consumers, which results in engaged customers and more valuable experiences with providers,” said Michael Penney, executive vice president, Epsilon Strategic & Analytic Consulting Group. “Marketers need to pay attention to what drives undecided consumers as well as their channel preferences. Only then can they communicate the right message through the relevant channels and positively influence consumer behavior.”
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