While mobile operators have been battling to provide the widest coverage and fastest networks, most have ignored the opportunity to charge customers more for improved quality of service, according to a survey by Hot Telecom.
The consumer survey, commissioned by Amdocs, found that 56 per cent of respondents in Asia Pacific would pay extra for better coverage, while more than half said they would pay more for faster downloads. Nearly a third indicated they would pay for a one-time speed increase (for example for a movie or sports event).
The survey also showed that consumers want more control of their experience, with 88 per cent of APAC respondents wanting to self-manage their plans and 83 per cent seeking tailored offers based on their usage patterns.
The overall quality of experience, with coverage and speed key factors, has become the primary driver of loyalty, said Rotem Katzir, Amdocs’ director of marketing for revenue management.
From the survey results, she said it’s clear that customers are willing to pay for a better quality of experience. Yet, she said there aren’t many examples of operators that have been able to charge more for an improved experience.
While the ability to personalise the experience in real time is becoming more critical, the challenge is many operators can’t see the bigger picture. “The inability to connect the dots between the network performance and customer experience means operators are missing out on opportunities.”
Customers still face roaming bill shock and many are worried about going over their limits on data services. “So how well are we notifying customers in advance?” she asked.
But there are, of course, exceptions. Globe Telecom CEO Ernest Cu said last week that personalisation has been a key differentiator as it has transformed it operations. Its MySuperPlan is a fully automated system, developed with Amdocs, that lets subscribers customise their plans.
Globe recently expanded the service to its prepaid base. “Customers can customise their spend for the day by inputting the number of SMS, the amount of data and number of calls they want. You can even label it and call it your own plan and post it on Facebook,” Cu said.
Katzir noted many operators are realising the game has changed and the customer wants value and a good experience. They are starting to use big data to make relevant offers that may lead to them spending more, rather than facing a high bill and then churning. “This builds a more trustworthy brand for the operator.”
The Hot Telecom survey also found that more than a quarter of mobile customers in the region would pay to be able to roll-over their unused voice and data plan quotas from one month to the next.
WiFi is an increasingly important part of the user experience – 84 per cent of those surveyed in Asia actively look for WiFi access whenever possible (almost half do so for better quality).