New Study Finds Mobile Operators at Risk of $72 Billion Loss Due to Churn

Mobile user experience integrated with simultaneous technical data identifies why people leave carriers and what can be done to retain them

QuEST Forum today announced a breakthrough in customer analytics for telecom operators looking to reduce churn rates and increase revenue. This new study, available now to the public at no cost, highlights the fact that the KPIs used to measure and improve service performance by telecom operators today do not fully address the concerns of consumer mobile phone users. It also indicates that operators are at a much higher risk of churn than what is currently experienced.

A large study of 3G and 4G users in the US and five Latin American countries was conducted to identify and categorize the factors causing customers to leave their current carriers. These factors were then analyzed by demographic and psychographic profiles to reveal the failed and met expectations of those users in terms of quality, reliability, cost and other factors. The carriers were then identified and matched to benchmarking data to show which had issues large enough to trigger an individual to move to a different carrier. The results were startling and for carriers, costly.

Key Points Noted in the Study:

  • In the countries studied, $72 billion USD is at risk over the next 12 months due to users dissatisfied with their wireless telecom operator.
  • Of the above figure, 43 percent indicated they will leave their carrier immediately, while the remaining 57 percent are at high risk to leave in the near future.
  • Of the $72 billion, the causes of churn are identified as competitive pricing, network issues, initial account setup and ongoing account management.
  • 80 percent of user behavior can be attributed to just 7-10 subjective measures.

“Although network operators actively look to reduce churn rates using network KPIs and periodic customer surveys, the fact remains they continue to experience high revenue losses tied to both technical and subjective issues,” said Ken Koffman, Chief Technology Officer of QuEST Forum. “While KPIs have provided an overall view of network performance, carriers have been unable to gain a systemic understanding of what drives customer loyalty until now. We saw a significant gap in how typical customer satisfaction data is collected, and have developed a more efficient means to acquire and apply it to those areas that truly affect loyalty.”

Metrinomics, an active QuEST Forum member, and leader in customer experience management and analytics, supported the study’s development.  “Through our unique approach to the study, we’ve been able to highlight the vital few triggers that drive over 80 percent of users’ satisfaction,” stated Hans Schmolke, CEO of Metrinomics.  “By understanding these indicators, operators can focus their investments into areas that will build the most loyalty for their key customer segments.”

Not surprisingly, one of the primary issues driving customer dissatisfaction is what users identify as network issues.  To effectively address the source of these problems, operators must understand the situation and context of use at the time of the negative experience.  For this reason, P3, an active QuEST Forum member and world leader in wireless data collection, developed a mobile application that continuously collects objective performance data with multiple options for gathering subjective user input.  The app, working together with our subjective quality analytics form the new QuEST Forum platform, called QuEST WCX.

“By integrating objective, technical data (ie network analytics) at the exact time as a customer’s subjective negative experience, carriers can understand whether the problem was due to a network issue, device issue, upstream application problem, or a location based issue,” stated Ralf Klueber, Managing Director of P3 Group.  “We have cracked the code regarding KPIs for the telecom industry by systematically integrating two elements that were not previously available on the market. This will help operators efficiently build customer loyalty and reduce churn.”

Access to the data

For complete results of the study or more information about the WCX platform, visit the website and view the reports at www.questwcx.com. Operators interested in seeing how this study can work for them or accessing tools to conduct their own studies can contact QuEST Forum at questwcx@questforum.org.

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