Why UK mobile providers are losing 29% of consumers who initially preferred them

68% of consumers have a preferred brand in mind before they begin their research into mobile phone providers. However, top mobile providers, EE, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone are losing an average of 29% of those consumers who had initially preferred them.

Where did this 29% go and why were they unable to retain them?

Recent research from Global Reviews looks at just how much these initial preferences influence which brand consumers eventually go on to select as their preferred provider to purchase though.

Although Vodafone were only able to retain 63% of those who initially preferred them, they were able to convert an impressive 17% of consumers who had no initial brand in mind prior to research. To make up for the loss of those who had initially preferred them, they were also able to steal 11% of those who had initially preferred someone else prior to research.

Firstly, we will look at why Vodafone are losing 37% of consumers between initial and final preference.

When researching mobile phone providers, 41% of consumers are using aggregator sites. Whilst this works in the favour of smaller brands such as GiffGaff and iD Mobile in that more consumers shortlist them if they’ve visited an aggregator, it seems that aggregator sites are having a negative effect on Vodafone to the point where far fewer people are shortlisting Vodafone if they went to an aggregator than if they just used search and brand websites.

Shortlist preferences

So why are Vodafone losing consumers through aggregators and what is helping them convert the consumers they were able to get?

The #1 reason consumers finally preferred a brand was because they had the best deal/offer(s) to meet their needs. However, this was not the case for those who selected Vodafone. Vodafone may not be able to match the deals offered by other brands, but they still need to be able to clearly communicate what they have to offer and why they should be chosen over another brand. Instead, previous use was the top reason why consumers finally preferred Vodafone over another brand. So whilst they may not have the best deal/offer, they are strong in the area of brand loyalty.

Vodafone final preference

Meanwhile, Tesco retained 73% of those who initially preferred them, but was only able to pick up 7% from other initially preferred brands and 9% from those who had no initial preference.

As can be seen in the following chart, Tesco has a lot going for it. They’re chosen for their deals, easy to understand products/offers and boosted along with their loyalty programme. The question then is why are they unable to convert more customers?

Tesco final preference

The reason is site visits.

Compared to the other big brands, Tesco are getting very few customers visiting their site during the initial research phase. They’re managing just a 14% visit rate compared to the 30% of EE and O2. If Tesco are not able to drive people to their website, of course consumers won’t choose them unless they’re already aware of all that they have to offer. Therefore, getting people on site should be a key priority for Tesco.

These are just two examples highlighting the ways in which consumers research and select a brand to purchase a mobile phone plan through. Each brand has its own unique story and Global Reviews is the only place that can tell you how each of these stories go. If you would like to know your brand’s story and see how it compares to your competitors, contact us today.

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your brand would like to be included in our next round of FRUITION research, please contact: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director
T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260
M:        +353 (87) 1263043
E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

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Telco Blog Series: UK mobile providers losing customers at a critical stage, ‘online purchase’

UK mobile phone providers

Global Reviews recent Telco Digital Effectiveness study revealed that the two critical stages which cause customer frustration and abandonment are navigation  and online purchase.

Telco brands in the UK are losing at the ‘online purchase’ stage, just as their ideal customers are about to buy from them.

Online Purchase

Once again the basic needs of the customer are not being met at the ‘Online Purchase’ stage.

  • Security
  • Help
  • Privacy

Best Practice: Carphone Warehouse and the need for a ‘consistent basket’ 

Carphone Warehouse was the top scorer for the ‘online purchase’ stage of the customer journey. Help is offered to the customer at every step of the online process. ‘What you will need’ at the checkout, encouragement to buy and also details about what you are buying are featured at every step of the process. The customer is reassured at every step of the process that they are buying the right thing.

Carphone Warehouse

A comprehensive FAQ section offers help and advice relating to the customers’ order, not just general help and FAQs.

What does Carphone Warehouse do to help their customers through the online process?

  • Help through the process
  • Reassurance
  • Encouragement to buy
  • What am I going to need? for the checkout

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your Telco brand would like to be included in our next round of research, please contact us: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director

T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260

M:        +353 (87) 1263043

E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

 

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Telco Blog Series: Poor navigation frustrates UK mobile customers

UK mobile phone providers

Global Reviews recent study on the UK Telco market looked at how consumers research and buy a mobile phone, sim card or plan to suit their needs online. The Digital Effectiveness study found that UK mobile providers make the process difficult and confusing for consumers. Poor navigation is one area in which mobile providers are failing their customers.

How are UK Mobile Providers performing? 

Telco Industry Scores

The alarmingly low scores, the lowest being 48% shows us that there are key industry pains.

Where are the ‘Industry Pains’? 

Telco Industry Pains

‘Evaluating Options’ is a key pain for providers in the mobile industry. Essentially ‘Evaluating Options’ equates to “Have you got something to suit my specific needs”? for the mobile customer. In order for customers to be able to evaluate their options quickly and easily, and to find product and plan specifics, navigation needs to be addressed.

‘Online Purchase’ is also a key pain and is discussed further here. 

What do UK mobile customers want? 

  • A product to suit their specific needs at the end of the process
  • A phone on a contract that they can afford
  • An affordable PAYG contract
  • Simply want help to just understand their options

Poor navigation frustrates customers and hinders online purchases 

Task 1 – Consumers in our study were asked to find the cheapest 12 month SIM only contract with 2GB or more of data. This task can be replicated across all of the brands in the market.

Task One

  • Tesco Mobile had a 90% success rate, an 84% satisfaction rate and a 90% evaluation rate
  • In general, UK mobile providers perform poorly on this task.
  • The lowest performing brand had a 32% success rate, a 57% satisfaction rate and a 27% evaluation rate
  • 73% of customers for the lowest performing brand had an issue in finding what was asked in the task
  • Less than one third of customers managed to find the SIM only contract for one particular brand

Task 2 – Customers were asked to find the iPhone with the cheapest Pay Monthly price while having 16GB of storage and a front-facing camera

Task Two

With this task there was a lower success rate.

On average, 61 % of customers had problems finding the phone that matched the specified needs.

  • One brand had an 81% success rate, 70% satisfaction rate and interestingly a 52% evaluation rate
  • One brand in particular had a 0% success rate so nobody managed to find the iPhone on their plan

Voice of the customer suggests frustration 

UK mobile providers do not make it easy to find a particular phone or SIM plan and leads to much frustration amongst customers.

Voice of the customer

Best Practice – Tesco Mobile 

For task one, 90% of customers found the right plan on Tesco mobile with only 10% reporting they had problems doing so.

Tesco Mobile has a simple yet functional and informative table which can be ordered by the top tabs. Customers can decide what is most important and filter options in this way. The page also encourages completion by showing customers the steps along the way therefore encouraging them to buy and to compete the process.

Tesco Mobile

Best Practice – Spark Mobile 

Spark Mobile scored well when we conducted similar research in the Australian market. 52% of customers found success immediately.

A clear page title, relevant terms and labelling and prominent tabs all contribute to a greater task success. Plans and pricing were also clearly labelled from the homepage.

Spark Mobile

  • Tabs labelled according to needs – helps customers to quickly identify each plan type
  • Alternate colouring and bold text used on tabs makes them clear
  • Big, bold text to communicate price – an important factor when matching a plan to needs
  • Clear, consistent headings makes comparing the options quick and easy
  • Insight: Spark visitors encountered the least problems during the match plans to needs task
  • Good comparison tables assist with ‘needs matching’

Best Practice – EDF Energy 

We know that from previous Global Reviews studies, other markets, particularly those with complicated products such as energy retail perform well in these type of tasks. EDF Energy can be used as a ‘Best Practice’ example outside of the Telco industry.Navigation needs to be clear and also needs based. Mobile providers can learn from Energy Retail on how to easily help customers through the process.

EDF Energy

Global Reviews specialises in helping top brands worldwide convert more of their ideal customers online, through the use of the most advanced research methodologies. To find out more about how we can help you and your digital teams, or if your Telco brand would like to be included in our next round of research, please contact us: 

Hannah-Rose Farrington – Commercial Director

T:         +44 (0) 203725 8260

M:        +353 (87) 1263043

E:         hannah.farrington@globalreviews.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Telcos embrace the retail eCommerce market with mixed success

It was only a few years ago that telecommunication businesses were often spoken about as slow moving elephants. But the technological revolution and the deregulation of markets have turned a once slumbering business into one of the fastest growing in the world. Whilst we generally categorise telecommunications as its own industry, when we look at their websites we can see that they are embracing similar online business concepts as the e-retailers, making way to address the fast pace of consumer demand.

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Telcos Contact Centres not matching customer needs

In such a competitive market as telecommunications it is interesting that a recent study conducted by Global Reviews on the industry’s contact centres shows that many companies lack the ability to present the customer with a convincing value proposition.

The Global Reviews research shows that the industry is not taking advantage of its contact centre channels to increase its customer base. Instead, agents are often serving as reactive order-takers, who pitch the most popular product, without first getting to know the customer and matching the best product to their needs.

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