Cheap rates and good network coverage are the two most common reasons behind mobile phone users’ choice of service provider, with one in 13 survey respondents citing both, according to Roy Morgan Research.
Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine says consumers increasingly expect to be able to have it all, especially in highly competitive market environments.
“While there will always be room for providers who focus heavily on either quality or price, it’s the [more difficult and perhaps lower margin] combination of the two that may be the next big market gap,” she said.
According to the research, 41 per cent of mobile owners interviewed chose their provider for its better network coverage and 28 per cent said cheaper rates were a deciding factor. Eight per cent said both were reasons.
Ms Levine says Telstra is the only provider in the premium space with customers who seek quality and are prepared to pay for it, but customers with Optus, Vodafone or Virgin share similar perspectives on why they picked the provider.
“ALDI Mobile and Amaysim [and many smaller virtual operators] compete in the discount space, but ALDI has a distinct advantage using the Telstra network,” she said. “In fact, over one in five ALDI Mobile customers say they chose the provider for both its coverage and rates.”
Boost is another mobile virtual network operator on the Telstra network that has leveraged the partnership to woo customers seeking both better coverage and cheaper rates.
Other factors cited for choosing a service provider include reliability, clearer pricing, customer service, reputation, and family and friend recommendations.
“Customers with Optus, Vodafone and Virgin are less likely to cite coverage or rates as a factor, so these providers in particular will need to discover and define their market edge across other factors,” Ms Levine said. “By understanding the reasons customers choose them, telecom providers can monitor and forecast the impacts of advertising campaigns and product or plan changes.”