Wednesday, 25 October 2017 21:43

75% of consumers would buy mobile services from Amazon, Paypal and Netflix: choosing the red pill?

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If Amazon, Paypal and Netflix offered mobile services, would it be a glitch in the matrix, or would consumers break free and question the reality of enslavement to traditional telco practices?

A new survey of mobile users in the US and UK has revealed "customers prefer the experience of digital-first companies, with 73% saying they wish their mobile service provider operated more like Amazon".

We're told that "PayPal, Netflix and eBay also ranked high in digital experience, with respondents highlighting favourite features including ease of use, clear pricing structure, real-time access to services and the ability to personalise."

It sounds like digital-first companies with a strong record of disruption would be able to use their entrenched digital power and customer footprint to disrupt other markets, like mobile, and that customers would be very receptive.

It seems obvious and even inevitable that these brands will move into the communications space, with Paypal once having been in the Skype business by virtue of its eBay connections, and thus having already played in an earlier version of this space, while Amazon already sells all the smartphones you want, and has already been the subject of rumours for years that its own MVNO was in the works – just do a search for "Amazon MVNO" to see for yourself.

The thing is, if any of the companies listed or others you do business with emerge with an offer competitive to Kogan Mobile, Belong, Amaysim, Vaya, Boost and others, even the major telcos themselves, would you port your number across and be happily billed by Netflix instead for the service, while getting other benefits that only Netflix could offer?

Or Amazon with some kind of Amazon Prime tie-in, or any kind of promotion it wants given the breadth and depth of everything Amazon does?

There's clearly potential there, and naturally, depending on the deal, many would port to a Netflix or Paypal Mobile, and as long as that business didn't generate a massive amount of personalised call centre tech support or other unprofitable costs, which it shouldn't, then moving into the MVNO (and even NBN sales) space for some of today's digital-first companies seems, as already noted, practically inevitable.

We've already seen players such as MVNO pioneer Amaysim in Australia move into NBN broadband and now energy, too, showing that, for the right companies at least, the possibilities are endless as to what they can try disrupting next, should a business case be made for entering the market.

So, back to the survey, rather than my own reflections upon the nature of reality in the current mobile telco and digital space, which polled a total of 3077 mobile users across the US and UK and "surfaced compelling reasons for telcos to leverage mobile user experience as a way of boosting their bottom line and increasing customer acquisition".

You see, the lesson here isn't that Netflix, Amazon or Paypal might start up mobile MNVO telco brands to leverage their existing platforms and customer relationships, which some at least will do, the lesson is that telcos need to act more like Amazon, Netflix and Paypal in dealing with their customers.

It's a different perspective, and one that is also obvious when you think about it.

The survey backs this up by stating that: "Nearly 40% of UK mobile users would increase spending with their carrier if it operated more like a leading digital brand, while 52 percent of all respondents would recommend their carrier to friends and family."

It's also yet another demonstration that telcos are not destined to be dumb pipes, but rich ecosystems of their own that play nicely with others across the cloud, across services, apps, users, devices and more.

Sure, let innovation shine bright with over-the-top players and anyone else providing products, content and services across the Internet and in life, but the owners of that infrastructure need not refrain from being active players themselves, with many having gone down the path.

It's like digital transformation for telcos taking hold and coming to life, right alongside the transformation that 5G itself is bringing to the industry and to us all.

Jennifer Kyriakakis, founder and vice-president of marketing at MATRIXX Software Software, said: "The survey clearly demonstrates that digital-first brands have set a new baseline of expectation by which every other consumer service is judged.

“Telcos have an opportunity to attract an entirely new crop of customers, ones who are motivated by intuitive engagement that results in a highly personalised, transparent and real-time mobile experience.”

Survey results also "confirmed this strong focus on customer experience expectation, as an overwhelming 75% of respondents chose transparency in pricing as a feature they most want their mobile provider to adopt from their favourite app.

"Another 63% preferred ease of use, while 51% cited greater personalisation, and 49% wanted instant access to services."

Finally, we're told that "providing further insight into what consumers most want, the survey found 64% of mobile users would switch their carrier if offered a greater customer experience, underscoring that consumers want a better experience regardless of who offers it".

The quality of your customer service, coupled with the quality of your interactive customer engagement through your products, services and support systems can define whether an end-user, a customer chooses to do business with you, or with your competitor, and in the 21st century digital world in which we live, it can be something as simple as that.

So, with Matrixx Software delivering "an innovative digital commerce solution that enables always-on customer engagement", and wth the company proudly boasting of its "patented approach" that "makes it possible for Digital Service Providers to simultaneously serve millions of customers, and process billions of customer interactions precisely and instantly", you can see why Matrixx Software believes it is the one to help Digital Services Providers "build long-term strategic value through high-touch, digital customer relationships".

Is it truly possible for Digital Service Providers to mature their ongoing digital transformation into a new level of sophistication and quality, and thus finally know the answer to the question of "What is the Matrixx?"

Yes. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed of existing customer relationships, and believe whatever you want to believe. 

You take the red pill – you stay in telco-transformation Wonderland, and you get to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all Matrixx Software is offering is the truth of their entire range of products, services, knowledge, understanding and support. Nothing more.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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