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Mobile Users Yearn to Churn, NSN Finds

If you're like most mobile customers, you've threatened to leave your operator more than once. Whether you've actually followed through is a different story. Almost 40 percent of people around the globe are considering leaving their mobile operator, according to a Nokia Siemens Networks survey of 8,700 consumers. That is 20 percent more than were considering making a move at this time last year, and NSN says operators are foolish to think they won't make good on their threats this time around. The rise in dissatisfaction comes as shipments of smartphones overtake those of feature phones while data usage climbs. The more that people use advanced data services -- Web browsing, apps, mobile video, etc. -- the more that factors like broadband quality, coverage and reliability come into play. NSN that voice quality and network coverage are still the main influences of customer retention in mature markets, followed by contract conditions. Wireless operators don’t make it easy to churn given early termination fees and two-year contracts, but they'll also never have the brand cache of a Samsung Corp. or an Apple Inc. If lower costs, higher quality or better customer service exist elsewhere, their customers won't hesitate to flee. Even if they don't, shouldn't operators treat them like they might? Acting like you could lose a customer at any minute is the best way to ensure you don't. That's why customer experience management (CEM) is more important than ever, a fact that operators are waking up to. NSN, of course, has a dog in this fight. Its CEM on Demand, a 2012 Leading Lights winner, mines customer data for ways to improve their experience. Ricardo Silva, NSN's senior global marketing manager, says it's gaining traction as a way to give an operator's marketing department, the people that will actually address customer issues, more visibility into the network so they can respond more quickly and with a complete picture of what's going on. CEM will be a hot topic at next week's Management World Forum in Nice, France, where NSN and others will be showing off their wares. I hope to see some honest discussions around how wireless operators are implementing CEM strategies, breaking down silos and leveraging analytics to do so. A CEM strategy is more important than ever, but it'll take more than just better customer service to pull back those customers teetering on the cliff of churning. (See Five 'Nice' Thoughts.) — Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading
Sarah Thomas 5/8/2013 | 3:20:29 PM
re: Mobile Users Yearn to Churn, NSN Finds The survey results suggest that customers care most about network quality and coverage, which makes sense. Customer service is secondary, but could be the thing that puts someone over the edge. A CEM strategy should include a focus on network quality, customer service, billing (another big area of dissatisfaction) and devices/services/apps.
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