A new research project by IBM that fuel consumer telecommunications operators as little more than plumbers.
Telecommunications is a new ballgame in the post-2008 economy. Consumer confidence is up and growth continues for the major players, especially those that run their own network and service provider businesses. The customer perspective has transformed, however, as smartphones continue to displace all other forms of personal computers and customers turn away from traditional voice and SMS channels to ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) communication services like WhatsApp and Skype.
One of the most comprehensive studies of the modern market has just been completed by the IBM Institute for Business Value in its 2014 Global Telecommunications Consumer Survey that sampled 22 000 customers in 35 countries including the USA, China, UK, Brazil and South Africa.
The report showed the massive impact of social factors in the buying decisions of consumers, and also how this is enhanced with online social networking. It also revealed that customers in emerging markets expect to be spending more on telecommunications in the future – a counterintuitive finding. The highest expected increases in spending can be found in India, China, Kenya and Nigeria. While this is good news for operators, the research also showed how networks play a diminished role in terms of services.
Another, more surprising, f inding is that more good than bad is shared on social networking about experiences with service providers. Forty percent of customers said that they often share negative experiences while 53% said that they always share positive experiences. The percentage of consumers recommending their provider to others exceeds 60% in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Mexico, Turkey and Greece.
The survey also showed a 23% rise in mobile phone usage in emerging markets compared to -2% in developed countries.