Are Australians satisfied with their mobile providers?

When Australians are comparing services to determine the best mobile phone plan, satisfaction with current providers generally comes into the picture. New research from Roy Morgan has uncovered some intriguing insights into the sentiments of mobile phone users across the country, revealing that Gen Z and Pre-Boomers are the demographic groups most likely to be happy with their mobile providers. 

Mobile phone companies seem to be striking the right chord with consumers, though there were some marked differences across demographic groups. Roy Morgan's 2014 Customer Satisfaction survey shows that 74 per cent of users were contented with how their mobile services were being managed. Young Australians, or Gen Z, and Pre-Baby Boomers were the most pleased with their mobile phone providers, recording 78.3 per cent and 79.4 per cent ratings respectively. 

Baby Boomers reported average satisfaction levels, with 74.4 per cent of these consumers happy with their provider. Slightly less than 72.9 per cent of Gen Y consumers were content with their services over the years, while at the other end of the scale, Gen X reported the lowest proportion of satisfied customers. Only 70.2 per cent had a happy view of their provider in this group, which could indicate potential for change or development in the industry. 

Tim Martin, General Manager of Media at Roy Morgan Research, said satisfaction levels are largely influenced by how often and why they use their phones - but this is ever-changing, particularly with the advent of the smartphone.

"The high cost of churn means providers need to attract and retain customers - and satisfaction plays an important role in both these needs," he said.

"Satisfied customers effectively sell your service to their friends and family - or, as is increasingly the case, on social media like Twitter and Facebook - and are also, of course, more likely to stay with you themselves."

Changing digital world 

Given that Australians show some of the highest rates of smartphone use in the world, this has some interesting implications. There are any number of influences on consumer satisfaction for mobile phone providers. Smartphones have become one of the most common elements of online and digital life.

An Ey Sweeney report named Digital Australia: State of the Nation 2014, surveyed 1,500 Australians to find out how consumers used the internet and digital technology last year - and smartphones have risen in prominence. The report showed that smartphones are playing a larger role in everyday life, whether for social interaction or information. Last year, consumers were most likely to use their phone over other forms of digital technology. In fact, 16 per cent of people said their social lives would be nonexistent without the presence of a smartphone in their day-to-day life.

In this same vein, Australians' reasons for using their phones are changing and this can impact how they compare mobile plans. Another Roy Morgan survey released in January found that the number of people using their phones for business purposes has declined. More people are using their mobile equally for personal and business reasons - only 7.4 per cent of people used their mobile phone for business in 2014, while personal use increased to 13.3 per cent. 

"Understanding the changing trends in mobile activities and usage allows telcos to develop plans that cater to a mix of both personal and business needs," Mr Martin said in a January 16 release.

"The decline in the proportion of users who say their phone is used mainly for business suggests that people who once only needed it for work are now integrating it into their personal lives."

The influences on satisfaction are always growing and shifting in the Australian market. As such, it is increasingly important for mobile providers to adapt and develop with the developing digital needs of consumers.

Posted by Richard West