By competing on service Quality of Experience (QoE), mobile operators have an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn and drive new revenue streams, according to new consumer research launched today by YouGov and Acision, a leading enabler of mobile messaging and data services.
The research, which questioned UK consumers on the quality of their mobile broadband and data services experience across mobile handsets, smartphones, tablets, laptops and dongle-powered devices, shows that 77% of users having encountered some form of quality of experience issue using services on mobile broadband – a mild improvement on a similar survey conducted by Acision and YouGov last year, which found that 84% of consumers had encountered issues. While overall satisfaction may have risen slightly, operators still face challenges with regard to improving mobile broadband service delivery, with 54% of consumers having experienced slow speeds and 42% having had connection problems.
The increasing popularity of time-sensitive, data-heavy applications and services, driven by the soaring adoption of smartphones and feature-rich devices, has not only put pressure on operators’ networks but means that consumers have higher expectations of the quality of services they receive. However, while service usage is higher, 77% of consumers who use VoIP on their mobile phone stated that they have encountered problems with the service, while a further 70% of video users have experienced problems when they access video. For video specifically, stalling was found to be the most frequent and least acceptable issue (60%), followed by having to wait a long time for the video to play (26%). The research also revealed that only 11% of consumers disagree or strongly disagree with operator intervention to optimise video during periods of congestion and 21% of respondents are even willing to pay to prevent the video from stalling and improve the overall quality.
The findings also highlight a strong desire among consumers for more context-aware and personal preference-oriented services. 70% of those questioned stated that they would like to be notified in real-time about network congestion, while another 71% wanted to be notified about large download sizes, which may impact their data usage. Greater tariff flexibility and differentiation also appears to be high on consumers’ wish-lists, with 26% of video users stating that they would be happy to pay for a service that would enable them to save on their bundle. Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents, meanwhile, wanted the option to delay application updates to a time when downloads are free.
Commenting on the research, Steven van Zanen, SVP Marketing at Acision, said: “In spite of well-publicised network investment and upgrades to LTE/4G, the level of customer satisfaction highlighted by this research illustrates how infrastructure upgrades alone cannot address the quality of experience issues with mobile broadband and its associated services. In order to enhance the end user experience, operators need to define new strategies and take a holistic, 360o quality of experience approach, which takes into consideration a number of key factors such as subscriber type, service characteristics/experience, personal preferences, device and content/context awareness.”
Van Zanen continued: “In order to maintain a sustainable competitive edge, operators need to evolve from a purely technology-driven approach to a more customer-centric approach and gain control of all aspects of the service. Operators have the opportunity to lead the market on service differentiation, transparency and accountability, by offering clarity on service quality and insight into network performance. Acision’s innovative messaging and data services solutions, which can be provided through Acision’s Cloud Delivery Model, can help operators move beyond competing on higher speeds and bandwidth at lower prices towards more targeted, high value service offerings with improved QoE and faster delivery mechanisms.
“By acting upon real-time conditions that can impact the QoE and offering differentiated, core services which are tailored at a price which reflects the individual subscriber’s internet usage and their service needs, operators can dig into valuable new revenue streams while improving customer loyalty, reducing churn, attracting new user segments and driving healthy growth of value added services.”
“The increasing prevalence of the mobile channel as the platform of choice for an ever broader range of online activities and services reinforces the importance of ensuring that the requisite quality of experience is delivered to consumers,” commented Russell Feldman, Associate Director, YouGov. “This research again highlights the strong consumer support for operators to differentiate and assert end-to-end control of their service offerings in order to enhance the overall user experience.”
About YouGov and the research
YouGov is an international, full service market research agency offering added value consultancy, qualitative research, field and tab services, syndicated products such as the daily brand perception tracker BrandIndex, fast turnaround omnibus and comprehensive market intelligence reports. YouGov’s sector specialist teams serve financial, media, technology and telecoms, FMCG and public sector market. YouGov is considered a pioneer of online market research and has a panel of 2.5 million people worldwide, including over 350,000 people in the UK representing all ages, socio-economic groups and other demographic types. As the most quoted market research agency in the UK, YouGov has a well-documented and published track record illustrating the accuracy of its survey methods.
All figures, unless otherwise stated are from YouGov Plc. This research was conducted between 8th-10th August 2011 with a sample of 1146 adults. All respondents had to use a mobile broadband device (smartphone using mobile internet, dongles, modem sticks, datacards, 3G enabled tablets, netbooks or integrated mobile broadband in laptops). The research was conducted online.
Morgan Evans, Hotwire PR
T: +44 (0)207 608 2500 / E: acision[.]hotwirepr.com.