April 04, 2016
Majority of Smartphone Users Surveyed Unhappy with Service and Ready to Switch Mobile Providers, Accenture Screenager Report Finds
Data points to threats and opportunities for wireless providers to improve experience and develop new revenue streams
NEW YORK; April 4, 2016 – More than half of smartphone users surveyed for the 2016 Accenture Screenager Report are dissatisfied with their mobile experience and are ready to switch mobile providers, according to the new report by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
The 2016 Accenture Screenager Report is derived from data collected in Accenture’s 2016 Digital Consumer Survey, the company’s latest annual research report that investigates the attitudes, behaviors and top trends of consumers adopting and using mobile smart devices and related services. The study found that despite the widespread ownership and use of smartphones – with 80 percent of consumers surveyed now owning a device, up from 26 percent in 2012 – the majority of smartphone owners are unhappy with their mobile service. Specifically:
  • 60 percent are dissatisfied with their connectivity and experience and would switch providers;
  • 62 percent are concerned about the security of financial transactions;
  • 47 percent are concerned about privacy and security; and
  • 83 percent are unhappy with mobile advertising interfering with their experience.
The report uncovered another statistic that poses a challenge for wireless providers: The percentage of consumers who plan to increase spending on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs in the next 12 months dropped by 60 percent since 2014, from 33 percent to only 13 percent in 2015. 
At the same time, the data pointed to opportunities for mobile providers to improve their service and meet consumer demands. For instance, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of smartphone users said they would pay more to a provider for better connectivity, and more than four in five (83 percent) said they would buy more products and services if reliability and the speed with which problems are resolved were improved.

“Mixed data on consumer satisfaction coupled with flat growth in smart devices could be seen as a threat, but forward-looking providers will see an opportunity as consumers’ digital appetite has never been greater,” said Marco Vernocchi, global digital lead of Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology operating group. “The key is delivering new, high-quality, multi-device and multi-channel experiences that meet the consumer’s expectations immediately. This requires smart, user-centric design that is guided by consumer insights gained through integrated analytics and supported with the connectivity, security and privacy consumers expect.”    
While consumer intent to buy new smart devices is down, it is clear their digital appetite remains strong.  The report found that the most common activities for which smartphone owners use their devices – other than talking and texting – are watching video (cited by 81 percent of smartphone owners) and playing online games (69 percent).
The combination of increased smartphone ownership and usage, coupled with dissatisfaction with the mobile experience, presents opportunities for service providers. The following are some strategic recommendations from Accenture Consulting to help providers retain customers by improving the mobile experience while developing new revenue streams:
  • Re-imagine the user experience from the user end and work back to the provider’s infrastructure and front-end systems.
  • Create seamless, multi-device, multi-channel experiences from the time users first engage with their screens. Screenagers don’t have the patience to wait for a second or third version to get it right; loyalty is heavily determined by their experience, so executing flawlessly based on user insights is the key to building and maintaining that loyalty.  
  • Address the need for an integrated, omni-channel customer relationship approach and system to understand user behavior and intent. Meeting the demands of screenagers across the spectrum requires analytics that inform, coupled with agile front-end development capabilities to stay current and adapt quickly.
  • Consider new revenue models. The device is a delivery vehicle for multiple services used daily – but users expect flexibility and value for their dollar.
  • Institute an “open innovation” approach. No one provider can do it all. An “open innovation” approach that entails partnering with content and service providers to create a dynamic ecosystem to deliver desired services and apps is a key strategy to reinvigorate the user base.
  • Take advantage of uniquely available data and insights. When upgrading their networks, providers should take full advantage of the massive quantity of data and insights that are uniquely available through networks and devices and target specific improvements based on user-centric insights.
  • Use analytics to uncover customer insights. Users see connectivity as a commodity and pay for data and services. Using analytics to find customer insights will help providers clearly define value propositions, decide how to add differentiated value to their services, and ultimately enable them to develop new revenue streams.
  • Develop guidelines for recommended apps and services. Privacy and security are very real concerns, but they are increasingly difficult to address given the complexity of the mobile ecosystem. Developing guidelines for recommended apps and services is one way to help customers protect themselves.
For more information on the analyses in Accenture’s 2016 Screenager Report click here.
About the 2016 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey
The Accenture Digital Consumer Thought Leadership program for communications, media and technology companies is based on a survey conducted online between October and November and published in 2016, surveying 28,000 consumers in 28 countries:  Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. The sample in each country is representative of the online population, with respondents ranging in age from 14 to 55 and over. The survey and related data modeling quantifies consumer perceptions of digital devices, content and services, purchasing patterns, preference and trust in service providers, and the future of their connected lifestyle.
This is the third year Accenture has conducted this survey. In 2015 the sample size was 24,000 consumers in 24 countries. This is the second year Accenture has published the Screenager Report, derived from the data collected in the Accenture Digital Consumer Survey. The Screenager report identifies key megatrends affecting global digital consumers.
About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
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