Report: Traditional telco brands gaining on digital brands for customer affinity

Customer perception of service quality from traditional communications and wireless companies on the rise thanks to personalised services, control of personal data and user experiences.

The gap in customer affinity between traditional communications and media companies and big tech and digital companies is closing, according to a new report from Accenture.   

Specifically, its 2019 Global Keep Me Index: Are you a keeper report found consumer affinity for digital brands and that for traditional cable, satellite and wireless brands has shrunk by more than two-thirds since 2017.

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. It found customer perception of service quality from traditional communications and wireless companies increased 10 per cent over the past two years, driven by more personalised services, better control over personal data, and more fun and engaging user experiences. 

However, during the same time period, perception of service quality from digital platform companies, which include big technology and digital brands, decreased by 10 per cent, although they remain the highest ranked providers. 

When it comes to Australian telcos, brands need to double down on their efforts to increase trust with their customer base said Accenture Australia and New Zealand communications, media and technology lead, Jonathan Restarick.

“Traditional mechanisms to attract and retain customers, such as price, bundling and technical capabilities, are being overtaken by other factors such as trust, data security and social purpose,” he commented.

The report also had a number of other findings. One was that multiple, integrated service offerings matter. In particular, customers with three or more services from a provider are twice as likely as single-service customers to stay with their service provider. 

Price is not a leading influencer this year on customers’ likeliness to stay with a brand either, and innovative offerings matter. This means brands that embrace ecosystem partnerships are better able to provide value for customers in unique ways. For example, in the connected home, companies which offer digital home monitoring services drive 30 per cent more customer 'stickiness' than providers that don’t offer it. 

Finally, 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.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

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