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Info-comms shows significant improvement

THE CSISG 2017 first quarter survey results put the info-communications sector's score at 69.6 points, an increase of 1.10 points from a year ago, a statistically significant improvement from the year before.

Its constituent sub-sectors include wireless@SG at 70.3 points (plus 0.73 point year on year), mobile telecom at 70.2 points (plus 1.08 points year on year), broadband at 68.2 points (plus 1.14 points year on year), and payTV at 67.4 points (plus 0.75 point year on year). The institute says that the sub-sectors maintained the customer satisfaction levels from the previous year. In particular, mobile telecom and broadband customers were observed to exhibit measurably higher levels of customer loyalty the longer they stay subscribed to a particular telco, the institute says. These were the customers who showed higher likelihood to re-contract and greater tolerance for price increases.

Further analysis of these info-communications sub-sectors revealed that service attributes relating to responsiveness, assurance, and empathy were key drivers of loyalty, in addition to the usual product-related attributes such as suitable subscription plans and fast data speeds.

"While competitive product features will continue to play a big part in keeping customers, it is notable that service-related considerations such as 'Makes the effort to understand your needs' and 'Has your best interest at heart' have also surfaced as important attributes to drive customer loyalty," says Chen Yongchang, head of research and consulting at the Institute of Service Excellence.

He attributes the increase in the customer satisfaction score for the info-communications sector to higher perceived service quality and higher predicted quality across the sector. "In terms of service quality, from our observations, we do see telcos embarking on a number of service improvement projects such as re-designing of their stores and online platforms to be more customer centric. For example, we see the implementation of SMS queueing, online appointment booking, and more comfortable waiting areas at the stores," he says.

"In terms of predicted quality, this is measured as the quality customers think they would receive from the telcos prior to their recent experience with them. Typically this is shaped by their past experiences, and changes to brand reputation. The CSISG model posits that predicted quality, and customer satisfaction share a positive relationship. This suggests that customers who think they would be getting a better experience with the brand before their recent experiences tend to provide better satisfaction ratings," Mr Chen says.

"From our observations, there were a number of promotional activities and new services being launched. Examples include the launch of plans that provide more mobile data, and new data roaming services. The marketing activities associated with these launches may have raised the brand reputation of the telcos, which in turn helped to raise the overall score," Mr Chen adds.


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