Mobile operators lose a quarter to a third of their customers every year. This is an international phenomenon and providers don’t like talking about it. If you talk to an account manager who is affected by this, you mostly get the answer: “we profit just as much from it because our competitors also lose as many customers”. I can never understand this point of view. Wouldn’t it be more profitable to stop customers moving away than to go to the expense of pursuing new customers. Everyone says yes, but the behavior of mobile operators says no.
CeBit 2016 robbed me of one of my illusions. I always thought the Internet of Things (IoT) meant that my washing machine would talk to me. Now however, I have learnt that my washing machine speaks with my provider, and I’m the last one that knows anything about it. What they speak about, I have no idea, but I do know that the provider knows when I do the washing and how often. They don’t know however, when I have to change the pump, so that the machine doesn’t break down.
We all have our favourite brands. These are closer to us than all the other mostly uninteresting ones. A product and brand are able to direct how far consumers identify with them. One variable could be “you are an important part of my life” or even better “you are part of my extended family” or with a direct identification “I am me because you’re there with me”.
To track the customer journey, the customers’ contact cycle must be extend regularly over several stations. First there is contact with the provider, then the website, then social media, mobile platforms, price comparison, then at some point, a visit to the shop. All of this before a purchase is made. The customer journey is miles long. Are customers becoming more complicated?