Survey Shows Peer Influence Can Tarnish Telecom Providers’ Reputation

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16th July 2014 13:20 - Telecommunications

A recent study has shown that over half (56%) of its respondents use social media as a source of information to evaluate communication service providers and their products.

The research – Institute for Business Value survey – which was conducted by BMI, questioned 22,000 consumers in 35 countries to gauge their telecommunication consumer behaviour.

Findings also suggested that peer recommendations can play a sizeable role in telecom provider choices – trusting them more than the providers themselves in some instances.

In South Africa alone, more than half (55%) of the survey’s respondents said they share their negative telecom experiences with others. Around two fifths (44%) said they would discourage others from using a certain provider and one in three admitted to posting negative comments or complaints online or on social media.

Furthermore, just shy of two fifths (39%) said comments from their peers would put them off using the telecom provider they tarnished.

The survey also outlined the upsurge of over the top (OTT) communication platforms such as Whatsapp, WeChat, Facetime and Skype. Findings suggest the rising popularity of such apps is deterring people from traditional forms of messaging and calling.

Globally, around three in 10 (31%) of the study’s respondents said they have or will scrap traditional voice calling for social media communication channels. Just over one third (34%) said they have, or they plan, to reduce their traditional SMS usage in favour of social media communication channels.

Recommendations based on the survey’s findings included setting up a partnership between communication service providers and OTT’s, allowing telecom providers to develop their own OTT-type communication service.

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