Report reveals what people consider the most important factors in their relationships with operators Efficiency in service and support, loyalty-building initiatives, and transparency in billing and payment are among the most critical factors for consumers Career-minded consumers are most concerned with billing and payment, while young professionals want customized suggestions based on their usage patterns

A new report from Ericsson ConsumerLab, The optimal consumer experience, reveals that consumers judge operators according to their standards of service and support, loyalty-building initiatives, and billing and payment services.

Cecilia Atterwall, Head of ConsumerLab, says: "This report shows that consumers’ expectations of operators will increase, opening up the potential for new types of services that build on individual needs."

The report also reveals that different types of people have different needs.

For older, more senior and less tech-savvy people, the initial purchase process is the deciding factor in the consumer experience. Career-minded consumers, meanwhile, are most concerned with billing and payments. They expect the billing process to be transparent – regarding the financial aspects of their accounts – with no excessive, unexpected or hidden fees.

Young professionals are attracted to loyalty-building initiatives such as proactive suggestions to switch to a service plan that matches their usage patterns.

For parents, the billing process is the most important factor. Since they want to be in control, parents want to be able to monitor both their own usage and that of their children – either online or via an app.

Stefan Hedelius, Head of Marketing and Communications for Business Unit Support Solutions, says: "This study highlights several unmet consumer needs that can be addressed with the right OSS and BSS capabilities. For operators, there is a great opportunity to meet the demands and expectations on consumer experience and to capture the revenue potential."

In order to fully understand the consumer experience, Ericsson ConsumerLab interviewed nearly 3,000 people from the US, Brazil and Russia. In this way, ConsumerLab was able to gather unique findings that make it possible to measure consumer satisfaction and identify areas in which improvements can be made in order to optimize the consumer experience.

Figure: Importance level of the five touch point areas

ConsumerLab found that the leading reason for a consumer to contact an operator is to either upgrade or downgrade a service plan. Sixty-one percent of the interviewees had contacted their operators in the past six months for this reason. Meanwhile, 58 percent had contacted their operators to resolve a technical service or support problem, and 51 percent because they wanted more information about new services or products.

Interesting quotes from interviewees

"I got charged USD 10 for something. My mom was freaking out. I had to pay it. It wasn’t fair."

College student, Chicago

"I was disappointed when the trial price period changed without any notice and the rates went up. They’re poor at explaining prices, services, and options."

Young professional, Chicago

"I need a cellphone plan for my 15-year-old daughter who does texting but not much calling. I need more options. I’m paying for more than what I need. I need a customized plan but that doesn’t exist."

Parent, Chicago

Download the Report

Optimal Consumer Experience

Notes to editors

Our multimedia content is available at the broadcast room.

Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the “prime driver in an all-communicating world” through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 90,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 203.3 billion (USD 28.2 billion) in 2010. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.

About Ericsson ConsumerLab

Ericsson ConsumerLab is a knowledge-based organization, our main offering is insight. We have more than 15 years’ experience in consumer research, which involves studying people's values and behaviors, including the way they act and think about ICT products and services. We provide consumer insight to influence strategy, marketing and product management within the Ericsson Group. Our knowledge helps operators develop attractive revenue-generating services.

We gain our knowledge through a global research program based on annual interviews with 100,000 individuals in more than 40 countries and more than 10 megacities – statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. We use both quantitative and qualitative research, and spend hundreds of hours on in-depth interviews and focus groups with consumers from different cultures. Our research includes general market and consumer trends and in-depth insights into specific areas.

To be close to the market and consumers, Ericsson ConsumerLab has team members in most of Ericsson’s market regions. Being part of the Ericsson Group gives us a thorough understanding of the ICT market and business models. This broad knowledge is unique and is the basis for our credibility and integrity. We see the big picture, understand where the individual fits in, and know what this means for future trends and services.

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