Telcos closing the customer affinity gap on digital brands

News

Traditional communications service providers are catching digital brands up in terms of customer affinity, according to Accenture’s new Global Keep Me Index.

Accenture surveyed nearly 24,000 consumers in 18 countries on their likeliness to stay with a brand long-term based on how they think, feel and talk about that brand. A key finding was that the gap between affinity for digital brands and that for traditional cable and satellite brands is now just 23%, compared with 75% in 2017.

The gap between the affinity for digital brands and that for traditional wireless brands is now just 9%, compared with 28% in 2017.

According to the survey, customer perception of service quality from traditional communications and wireless companies increased 10% over the past two years, driven by more-personalised services, better control over personal data, as well as more engaging user experiences.

Perception of service quality from digital platform companies, such as Netflix, Hulu and Google, decreased by 10% during that time, though they still remain the highest-ranked providers.

Digital mindshare

“Digital platforms continue to lead in customer affinity ratings, but this survey shows that traditional communications and wireless companies are stepping up their game in the fierce competition for digital mindshare,” said Dawn Anderson, who leads management consulting in Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology practice in North America. “Our research suggests that all these brands need to keep a sharp focus on building trust, investing in personalised experiences and offering more variety of service.”

Other key findings from the research include:

•    Customers with three or more services from a provider are twice as likely as single-service customers to stay with their service provider. Additionally, only 14% of customers want to manage multiple on-demand video services with different providers.

•    Price is not a leading influencer this year on customers’ likeliness to stay with a brand.

•    Innovative offerings matter. Brands that embrace ecosystem partnerships are better able to provide value for customers in unique ways. One example is with the connected home, as companies that offer digital home monitoring services drive 30% more customer “stickiness” than providers that don’t offer it.

•    Personal data sharing and trust are aligned. Customers who trust a brand highly are three times more likely than those who distrust a brand to stay with it for the next 12 months. They are also likely to share four times more personal data than those who do not trust a brand.