While telcos are engaged in intense competition for market share, competing on price and service quality, new Roy Morgan Research data shows that over one in five Australians think that all telcos are the same.According to Roy Morgan, 22 per cent of Australians (14+) think all telcos are the same, although this varies significantly depending on which provider customers are currently with.
One in 10 ALDImobile customers think all telcos are the same (10 per cent), while other telcos with fewer customers agreeing all telcos are the same include Internode (12 per cent), Adam (14 per cent), iiNet (17 per cent), Amaysim (17 per cent), Westnet (18 per cent), Virgin Mobile (18 per cent), iPrimus (19 per cent) and Southern Phone (19 per cent).
Roy Morgan notes that nearly two-thirds of Australians have some kind of relationship with Telstra, with 21 per cent of these customers thinking all telcos are the same, ranking marginally below the norm.
At the other end of the spectrum, 29 per cent of Dodo customers agree that all telcos are the same, 27 per cent of Vodafone customers, 27 per cent of Boost customers, 24 per cent of Optus customers and 23 per cent of TPG customers.
Michele Levine, Roy Morgan Research CEO, noted the question “raises many interesting issues worthy of further investigation by telcos”.
“It goes to the heart of the millions of dollars in expenditure on branding and advertising, pricing and special offers, product and service delivery,” she observed.
Levine noted the prevalence of the attitude also varies greatly “among customers of different generations, with different combinations of fixed and mobile products, either bundled or held across multiple providers, with different rates of spending, satisfaction and switching”.
“Perhaps it’s counterintuitive, but around one in four customers who are dissatisfied and/or intend to switch provider in the next year think all telcos are the same – that’s actually more likely than the norm,” she stated.
“So how will these customers choose their next provider? Are they seeking a point of difference (perhaps something new they don’t know they want yet) or, all telcos being equal in terms, will it just come down to price?”
Levine observed that ALDImobile and Dodo, both operating in the discount space, have the most and least discerning customers, respectively, suggesting “fundamentally different perspectives from which certain types of customers arrive at the same price-based decision”.
“It’s as though many of ALDImobile’s customers care enough about price to discern it’s the cheapest provider, while many of Dodo’s perhaps don’t care enough about telecommunications services to pay more than they need to,” she commented.
“Providers that aren’t operating in the no-frills space need to highlight the value of their differentiating frills – whether that’s wider network coverage and faster internet speeds, more inclusions and better customer service, or premium access to video and music streaming or sports content.”