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Male, married and millennial: the profile of a loyal mobile customer

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Being male, married and a millennial are the key traits of the customers most engaged with their mobile phone providers, according to global research conducted into the relationships of more than 18,000 consumers.

The study, conducted by customer engagement specialist Affinion in partnership with Oxford Brookes University, set out to understand the factors that influence a customer’s overall engagement with a brand. These findings form part of a bigger research project which also asked respondents to answer questions about their attitudes towards their banks and favourite retailer.

The research revealed that mobile phone providers had the lowest overall ‘Customer Engagement Score’ (64) compared with the other industries examined in the study. The retail industry came top with 68, with banks following with a score of 67. The Customer Engagement Score is a mark out of 100 and was developed as a metric from the research to show how engaged a consumer is based on their responses to a series of questions about their relationship with these three industries.

The research revealed how engagement with mobile phone providers varies by country, with Turkish, Brazilian and American consumers reporting the highest level of the engagement. In contrast, respondents from Denmark, Finland and Norway reported the lowest levels of customer engagement. In telecommunications, the UK secured a score of 60 against the global average of 64.

Mobile phone providers have the most success with millennials, with 25 to 34 year olds reporting the highest level of emotional attachment (68). The level of engagement is lower with older age groups, in particular the 65+ age range which had an overall score of 58.

The report also showed differences between genders, with male respondents reporting a slightly higher engagement (68) than females (65). Another trend showed married respondents’ provided answers which signified higher levels of emotional attachment (65) compared to singletons (62).

UK country manager of Affinion, Karen Wheeler, says: “This research provides fascinating insight into how engagement varies by country and industry.

“The fact that mobile phone providers received the lowest customer engagement scores indicates that there are challenges for telcos when it comes to engaging with customers. Given the integral importance of mobile phones for customers there is huge potential for providers to build better engagement and loyalty with their customer base

“Our study also proves that customers who buy additional products or services and interact more frequently via multiple channels are more engaged. But taking that further and offering products or services that add value to their daily lives is what will really help a company to build meaningful relationships with its customers.

“Overall, the customers with higher engagement scores stated that they are more likely to stay with a business for longer, spend more and advocate a brand or business to family and friends. Brand advocacy is ultimately what all businesses are striving for, so this report offers significant lessons from which businesses can learn as they strive to increase customer retention and drive business growth.”

Professor in Marketing & Consumer Psychology at Oxford Brookes University, Janine Dermody, comments: “With the results varying across countries, gender and age groups too, this insight can be used to develop a number of different customer profiles. For example, the fact that Brazil and Turkey consistently exceed the global metrics across all three industries, points towards the increasing presence and importance of emerging markets and their impact on the global economy growth.”

The research asked 18,447 consumers from 13 countries questions on their attitudes towards their banks, telcos providers and retailers, including about customer experience and relationship quality.

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