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Improving customer satisfaction and market regulation in telecom market

Evidencing the need for speed as key to market growth for top telecoms provider

The need

Mobile telecom is a highly competitive industry where each operator’s products are seen as only partial substitutes for other providers’ products. Mobile operators try to retain and grow their customer base through differentiated products and services that have multiple attributes. As a result, a wide range of factors may influence customers’ assessment of mobile telecom services and in turn influence their decision to remain or switch. It is important for operators and policy makers to know which factors influence a customer’s decision to remain with and switch from their existing provider as the cumulative effect of this type of decision will have a major impact on competitive dynamics.

 Three UK, telecommunications and internet service provider, had commissioned Dr Dey and Dr Al-Karaghouli to prepare a technical report on the impact of speed on consumers’ switching intentions in the UK mobile telephone industry.

The solution

Brunel experts took a marketing perspective and developed a conceptual framework from critically analysing the extensive review of the relevant academic literature that selected on consumer behaviour, branding and electronics engineering. 

The research findings showed that customers rate speed as the second most significant component of service quality after call quality, when choosing a mobile telecom provider. Their data also confirmed that brand image is positively associated with speed and a significant driver in the creation and maintenance of a company’s perceived value among mobile telephone customers.

Their data also confirmed that brand image is positively associated with speed and a significant driver in the creation and maintenance of a company’s perceived value among mobile telephone customers.

The outcome

  • Brunel's research outputs were submitted to Ofcom to reconsider their initial decision of blocking Three’s campaign. Although the outputs did not make significant changes in Ofcom’s position, the documents were widely used by the Three management
  • The findings informed the ways in which Three engages with regulators
  • Three subsequently used the document as a point of reference for their current and future strategies, which increasingly recognise the importance of speed
  • Three used the research findings to enhance their brand image and customers’ perceived value, and discourage them from switching to a competitor
  • Three have made both call quality and speed key aspects of their marketing communications in order to grow their position in the UK mobile telecom industry.

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Case study last modified 23/11/2022

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