Telecommunications Consumer Sentiment
Overall, US consumers are dissatisfied with telecommunication companies due to poor services, particularly regarding the internet. Some factors that influence the consumer decision-making process when choosing a telecommunications provider include services provided, personalized experiences, and internet download speed.
GENERAL CONSUMER SENTIMENT TOWARDS TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANIES IN THE US
- Overall, US consumers are dissatisfied with telecommunication companies due to poor services offered, particularly regarding the internet.
- According to the 2017 InMoment Inc. Telecom report, although there has been a massive uptick in demand for telecom services, consumers still consider the industry a “necessary evil” rather than lauded for offering necessary services.
- When broken down into five lines of service, i.e., internet, TV, telephone, mobile, and streaming, the InMoment report revealed that customers rank internet as the service with the lowest return on investment. Also, the majority of customers feel that the internet is the service that they are least satisfied with and least likely to recommend to their friends or acquaintances.
- The latest CR’s Telecom survey also reveals that consumers in the US are dissatisfied with most of the services they receive from telecommunication companies including pay TV, home internet, bundled plans, and home telephone services. Larger telecom companies, including Comcast, Optimum, and Spectrum, earned the lowest scores in several categories, falling in the bottom half of 25 providers as rated by CR.
- Regarding TV services, the CR survey found that only 38% of TV subscribers in the US are highly satisfied with their services. In the study, Verizon, AT&T’s Dish Network and DirecTV were rated higher than Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox Communications.
- In the case of internet bundles, several telecom companies have been rated poorly by respondents of the CR survey, including CenturyLink, Spectrum, Windstream, Frontier Communication, and Mediacom.
- Consumer reports filed by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) also reveal a high level of dissatisfaction among telecommunication consumers. According to ASCI, unfortunately, internet service providers (ISPs) and subscription TV have the lowest consumer satisfaction in all industries.
- According to consumers, most ISP services are getting worse. The satisfaction rating of helpfulness and courtesy of staff dropped to 76 while the in-store services have become slow (74). Also, the bills are challenging to conceptualize (dropped to 71), and consumers are not happy with most of the plans available (dropped to 64).
- The report also revealed that internet services have become less reliable (69% of respondents), more prone to outages (68% of respondents), and worse performance during the peak hours (68%). Also, the quality of storage, email, and security have depreciated by 69%.
- One factor that contributes to the increased dissatisfaction among consumers is the lack of competition in the market. According to ASCI, while consumers are not satisfied with telecom services, more than half of Americans do not have an alternative for high-speed broadband.
- Techdirt found that telecommunication companies are rated poorly by American consumers. According to the source, ISPs received an overall rating of 62, just like the cable industry. The only ISPs that ranked above average in 2018 are Verizon FiOS (70), Altice (63), and AT&T Internet (69).
- Churn rates in the telecommunication industry remained particularly high, averaging between 10% to 60% every year. It is estimated that 75% of 20 million subscribers sign up for a new wireless carrier each year and considering another wireless provider.
CONSUMER DECISION-MAKING PROCESS WHEN CHOOSING A TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDER
- The consumer model in the telecom industry is no longer based on a simple network that offers quality voice services. According to Forbes, the current customer journey is based on personalized experiences with different communication services.
- With several people communicating via social networks such as Viber and Facebook Messenger, the use of voice calls has fallen, and the demand for service offerings has increased.
- Video has also become a key element of telecom services; by securing video content that meets the needs of consumers, telecommunication companies can position themselves higher.
- Customer experience has been rated as the top factor that influences the choice of a telecom brand. Automated bots, outdated online forms, and inbound phone numbers no longer convert. Customers expect brands to be service and experience oriented, digital-friendly, understanding of consumer needs, engaging, and interactive and offer quick sales assistance.
- Download speed has been a critical factor influencing the choice of service providers.
- In a survey conducted by the Public Interest Advocacy Center (PIAC), 83% of telecommunications consumers consider download speed a very important or somewhat influential factor for choosing an internet service provider.
- Other attached services weighed against the monthly price include data caps, bundles, and discounts.
- Telecoms Tech News noted that the telecom industry needs to undergo a full digital makeover to meet the needs of consumers. The change would include creating flexibility to consumers while keeping the human touch, leveraging artificial intelligence, and engaging bundling, cross-promotion, and inbound marketing.