Comarch, a global provider of end-to-end solutions for telecommunications, has just released the findings of a survey that outlines the level of satisfaction of European SMEs with their telecom service providers and identifies new services that they would be interested to receive.
The survey was done by an analyst firm, Telesperience, on 298 European SMEs, to see what they saw as the most valuable services that CSPs could offer them, but also to identify the main churn and dissatisfaction factors. The research encompassed 6 big European countries: France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK.
Key findings include:
- SMEs don’t feel loyal to their CSP(s) – 8 out of 10 plan to change service provider in the near future
- The biggest causes of frustration amongst SMEs are billing-related issues, low quality of services and networks, and the inability of service providers to quickly and effectively resolve problems
- The most important factors for SMEs when selecting a telecom service provider are service availability, service quality and dedicated tariff plans, while low price is only rated as fourth on the list
- 8 out of 10 SMEs do not see handset selection as being a “deal breaker” – preferring a cheaper service to their ideal handset
- 48% of SMEs would prefer to have a single service provider for all their services
- The services that SMEs would value include: access to itemized and archived bills, an ability to set spending limits for their employees, as well as fixed-mobile convergence
- Telecoms service providers are looking to the SME sector to grow their revenues – seeing huge potential in an underserved market. However, SME customers currently feel little loyalty to their service providers, with 8 out of 10 saying they’re potential churners. Rather than see this as a problem though, the most strategic CSPs will see this an opportunity. It means there are few entrenched incumbents in this market, and that customers are willing to churn to a service that’s better for them. In other words, the sector is wide open for product and service innovation backed up by high levels of operational efficiency. Those CSPs that have the agile infrastructure that can deliver this will be in pole position when the race starts. - says Teresa Cottam, research director at Telesperience.
- As the survey results show, service and network quality, as well as billing-related issues are the main causes of low loyalty among telecoms’ SME customers. This means improving the SME customer experience can be done by increasing the quality of delivered services with modern CEM and service assurance systems, or by providing billing controls and fixed-mobile convergence with appropriate BSS tools. The most important thing, however, is that telecom operators understand the specifics of SME customers, as well as their potential, and adopt a dedicated approach to churn and customer experience management in that segment. For those service providers who do it right, SMEs can provide a significant additional revenue opportunity. - says Małgorzata Siwiec, Telecom Solutions Marketing Manager at Comarch.
The research was conducted by Telesperience, a UK-based telecoms analyst firm focused on how software and data helps communications service providers improve their operational efficiency, commercial agility and the customer experience they deliver. For more information about Telesperience see www.telesperience.com.