comScore Networks released a comprehensive report on the behavior and attitudes of wireless phone subscribers. This report is based on a survey of U.S. consumers who use a wireless phone and analyzes consumers’ satisfaction with wireless carriers, carrier switching behavior and usage of wireless features that go beyond voice communication, including wireless Internet.
According to the study, consumers are growing ever more attached to their cell phones, with 14 percent reporting that they no longer subscribe to landline phone service, and 33 percent strongly agreeing they “feel lost” without their cell phone.
Consumer loyalty and satisfaction among wireless subscribers are clearly related. According to the study, only 6 percent of respondents who were highly satisfied with their carriers stated that they were likely to switch carriers at the end of their contract.
In contrast, 76 percent of respondents who were highly dissatisfied with their carrier were likely to switch. Furthermore, 44 percent of the highly dissatisfied respondents were very likely to switch carriers prior to the end of their contract, signifying that the deterrent effect of penalty fees only goes so far.
Not surprisingly, high satisfaction strongly correlates with the likelihood to recommend a carrier to a close friend or family member. Eighty-eight percent of those who were highly satisfied indicated a high probability to recommend their current carrier.
Can You Hear Me Now? “Better Coverage” Primary Reason for Switching Cellular Carriers
Switching to one’s current cellular provider was most often prompted by a desire for improved network coverage, with 27 percent of respondents stating “better coverage” as their primary reason for switching. In fact, coverage was the most often cited reason among subscribers of each carrier, with the exception of T-Mobile customers, who stated “lower prices” as their top reason for switching. Across all subscriber groups, “lower prices” was the second most frequently cited reason for swapping plans (14 percent), followed by switching to a friend/family members’ carrier (13 percent).
Consumers in the 18-to-24 Age Segment View Cell Phones as Multi-Functional Accessories
Based on a survey of U.S. consumers who use a wireless phone, the report also analyzes differences in behavior and attitudes among the following key wireless consumer segments:
- The Cellular Generation – Ages 18 to 24, these young adults grew up with cell phone awareness, experiencing cell phones as a part of their everyday lives.
- Transitioners – Ages 25 to 34, these people fall in between two distinct groups: those who grew up with cell phone knowledge and those who did not. Cell phones began to infiltrate everyday life during their teen years and early adulthood.
- Adult Adopters – Age 35 or older, this group was not exposed to cell phone until adulthood. Adult Adopters tend to have the most functional view of cell phones, with many requiring just the basics and showing limited interest in emerging technologies.
Cell phones offer far more than simply a means of voice communication. They can provide entertainment, convey social status, and express one’s individuality. While consumers in both the Cellular Generation and Transitioners are likely to view their cell phones as multi-dimensional devices, adult adopters tend to have a more functional view.
Approximately one-quarter of both the Cellular Generation (26 percent) and Transitioners (25 percent) said that “trendiness” was of high importance when selecting a cell phone, as compared to just 10 percent of Adult Adopters. Additionally, 41 percent of Cellular Generation consumers strongly agree with the statement “I like my cell phone to be personalized” with options such as color schemes and ring tones, while only 19 percent of Adult Adopters feel the same.
The Cellular Generation clearly places the greatest value on additional features, with 57 percent ranking text messaging of “high importance” when selecting a wireless carrier and 25 percent stating the same for instant messaging, in both cases higher than their more senior counterparts. Forty-two percent of the Cellular Generation said that a camera was of high importance when selecting a wireless phone and 20 percent said the same of an MP3 Player. In comparison, a lower 30 percent of Adult adopters felt that having a camera was of high importance, and just 8 percent felt the same about an MP3 Player.
Transitioners Most Likely to Access the Internet on their Cell Phones
More than three-quarters of both the Cellular Generation and Transitioners have the option to access the Internet on their cell phones, but Transitioners (29 percent) are more likely to subscribe to Internet services than the Cellular Generation (23 percent). Adult adopters have been the slowest to adopt this behavior, with just 13 percent currently subscribing to the Internet on their cell phones while 42 percent either lack, or are unaware of the option of doing so.