A study has concluded that online presentation of telco plans has a greater ability to influence consumer choice than salespeople in a physical store. This is due to a greater ability to conduct research through the internet, which allows potential customers to have already made their choice before leaving the house.
The study, which was conducted jointly by Google and Kantar TNS, studied the telco buying habits of 500 Malaysians to discover what influences their choices. Unsurprisingly, it was the internet that held the great sway over user opinion.
Despite this, those surveyed said that they found changing plans to be a confusing experience. Most claimed that they knew of the existence of the telcos, but were unclear on what was being offered. Only 22% said that they were sufficiently informed on the produts; while some 37% said that they have no prior knowledge of what telcos are doing these days.
Interestingly, the study also found that prices do not affect customer choice as much as widely believed. Some 42% of all searches for new telco plans are concerned with network performance and stability; which indicates that prices may get attention, but it is network quality that retains customers. Especially since 75% of respondents said that they were always open to change providers.
Online videos also appear to go a long way in affecting consumer opinion. One in three consumers are said to turn to videos for product reviews, while eight in ten believe that having a video made adds credibility to a product.
These finding mirror consumer behaviour noted by Google in similar studies on other products such as automobiles. It turns out that the internet is making sales staff less important in selling a product. Even if the amount of information is poorly communicated to the public.
If anything, Google recommends that telcos shift their marketing strategies to targeting consumers who are considering upgrading their plans, but before they are settled on a choice. Additional video reviews wouldn’t hurt either.