More channels means stronger relationships, study finds
STAMFORD, CONN., November 14, 2017 – Affinion Group, a leading global provider of tailored customer engagement solutions, today released the findings from a global survey they conducted in partnership with Oxford Brookes University. According to the study, customers using social media to communicate with their mobile provider report the highest levels of positive sentiment.
Affinion Group surveyed 18,447 consumers from 13 countries to develop a Customer Engagement Index, a 1-100 metric that shows how engaged a consumer is based on their responses to a series of questions on their attitudes, customer experience and relationship quality towards their telecommunications providers. The findings form part of a larger research project which also asked respondents to answer questions about their attitudes towards their banks and favorite retailer.
The study revealed that mobile phone providers had the lowest overall Customer Engagement Score of 64, compared with the retail industry and banks, which scored 68 and 67, respectively.
The findings showed that consumers are using multiple channels to engage with their providers, including phone (68%), online (52%), in store (35%), email (34%), social media (31%), and mobile app (29%). The cumulative effect of using more channels leads to greater feelings of engagement and loyalty, which was confirmed by the fact that consumers using all six channels reported an above average engagement score of 80.
Social media and apps are key channels when it comes to customer engagement for mobile providers. The research revealed that customers with high engagement scores are more likely to stay with their provider. Therefore, with an engagement score of 76, social media leads the way as a channel for encouraging loyalty. This is closely followed by apps with a score of 71. The least effective channel for engagement was customers interacting with their providers via their websites, with a score of 65.
Frequency of communication is also a key factor in how a customer feels towards their mobile provider. Consumers that interact with their providers on a weekly basis scored 77 for engagement, compared to a score of 60 for engagement taking place once a month.
Looking at age groups, 25 to 34-year-olds are the most engaged with their mobile providers with a score of 68, while individuals over 65-year-olds were the least engaged with a score of 58.
“It’s clear from this research that mobile phone providers are facing challenges when it comes to customer engagement,” said Karen Romagnoli, country manager of Affinion in the U.S. “Loyalty is a key issue that many industries are facing, with telecommunications industries faring the worst. Only 46% of customers are planning to stay with their mobile provider, compared to 52% for their preferred retailer and 54% for bank.”
Romagnoli also added that the most engaged consumers are the ones that interact with their providers most frequently. With mobile phones being an essential part of consumer’s lives, there is a huge opportunity for providers to find ways to build better relationships with their customers. Apps on mobile home screens, for example, are a great opportunity to prompt consumers to explore the benefits and offers available. The more they can interact with their customers, the more likely they are to encourage loyalty and advocacy – the ultimate goal in customer engagement.