Market Force study - Wireless Carriers

Giffgaff tops every consumer benchmark, says Market Force Information® study

London, U.K., 17 June 2016 – Disruptive challenger brand Giffgaff has surpassed more established operators to be crowned as the UK’s favourite mobile network, according to independent research from Market Force Information® a leading customer experience management company.

As part of the study, over 4,300 UK consumers rated various aspects of their mobile network provider. Market Force then averaged this data to rate each brand on a Composite Loyalty Index, benchmarking overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

The study also identifies the key characteristics that drive satisfaction, revealing how mobile network providers can impress their current customers, and attract new ones through a step-change in customer experience. Overall, one in four people say they are dissatisfied with their mobile network provider – and nearly one in five are considering changing provider in the next twelve months.

Success of challenger brands sends big names a clear signal

Giffgaff is clearly Britain’s most loved network having opened up a 20 point lead over nearest rival Tesco Mobile. Virgin Mobile, and O2 tied for third place. 

Graph 1: Composite Loyalty Index

Cheryl Flink, Chief Strategy Officer for Market Force Information says: “Our research reveals a disparity between operators with high market share, and operators who satisfy their customers. The challenger brands are doing what they do best and disrupting the market and this means that the more established names can’t rest on their laurels if they don’t want to lose further ground.”

Giffgaff runs rings around competition

Consumers also rated network providers on twelve critical attributes relating to satisfaction – the three most important categories were deemed to be network coverage, flexibility of plans and value for money. In every category people rate Giffgaff as the top provider, while Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile also perform strongly across the board. 

Graph 2: Percentage of totally satisfied customers by attribute

Cheryl Flink says: “The Giffgaff brand is built around the customer and offers low prices and no contracts. This is clearly proving a successful strategy. It’s rare to find a business that scores so universally highly and we expect the competition to be sitting up and taking notice.”

Beware the blackspots

Network coverage is seen as the most important factor when choosing a mobile phone provider – however many consumers are left unsatisfied with the service they receive. Subverting expectations, it is the challenger brands that perform best when it comes to satisfaction with network coverage, with Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile again placing first and second. Of those consumers considering switching network, over four in ten quote unsatisfactory network coverage as the reason why.

First port of call: people prefer to buy from Carphone Warehouse

Four-in-ten consumers set up their current mobile phone plan through Carphone Warehouse, either online or on the high street. In fact the majority of mobile phone plans are set up through third parties, demonstrating that consumers have a strong desire to compare network providers before making a purchase. 

Other key findings
  • Dissatisfied consumers are most likely to consider EE (17%) and O2 (15%) as an alternative network provider
  • In the battle of the operating systems, Android holds 44% of the market, Apple 43% and Microsoft Windows Mobile only 5%
  • Three quarters (73%) of consumers are on a contract plan
  • Two-thirds of consumers have been with their current provider for over two years
Survey demographics

The survey was conducted online in May 2016 across the United Kingdom. The pool of 4,342 UK consumers reflects a broad spectrum of income levels, with 22 per cent reporting a household income of more than £50,000 a year. Approximately 69 per cent were women and 31 per cent were men and represented a broad spectrum of age groups. 

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About Market Force Information

Market Force Information® provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, mystery shopping and contact centre data integrated on one technology and analytics platform. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves over 350 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions and entertainment. More information can be found at www.marketforce.com/en-gb.

 

Our research reveals a disparity between operators with high market share, and operators who satisfy their customers. The challenger brands are doing what they do best and disrupting the market and this means that the more established names can’t rest on their laurels if they don’t want to lose further ground.

Date: Friday, 17 June, 2016

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