What consumers really want from their operators


A new report from Ericsson ConsumerLab has revealed that consumers judge operators according to their standards of service and support, loyalty-building initiatives, and billing and payment services.

The report shows 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.

ConsumerLab found that the main reason for a consumer to contact an operator is to either upgrade or downgrade a service plan. Altogether, 61% of the interviewees had contacted their operators in the past six months for this reason. Meanwhile, 58% had contacted their operators to resolve a technical service or support problem, and 51% because they wanted more information about new services or products.

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

A young professional from Chicago, US, said in their interview for the survey: 'I was disappointed when the trial price period changed without any notice and the rates went up. [Operators are] poor at explaining prices, services, and options.'

Meanwhile, a parent also from Chicago, commented: '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 customised plan but that doesn’t exist.'

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.


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