Although customer experience is gradually improving in almost all brands in the Telecommunications sector, the speed in other categories is noticeably faster. This is evidenced by the fact that this year no brand from this sector was included in the Top 100. Customers feel that telecommunications services are costly, with unsatisfactory coverage. In addition, they have problems with internet outages and low speeds.
In terms of customer experience pillars, telephone operators are being dragged down particularly in the Time and Effort pillar (7 per cent below the study average), Integrity (6 per cent below the study average), and Empathy (also 6 per cent below the study average).
Customer comments suggest that the worse performance in the Time and Effort pillar may be down to the protracted contract withdrawal process, the complexity of the automated attendant system when calling a helpline, and being kept waiting in a store or on a helpline. In the Integrity discipline, brands lose points for breaking promises, for example claiming they have the best prices around when such a statement is incorrect. Clients also expressed dissatisfaction with unclear terms and conditions. For example, a friend pays less for the same service with the same operator than I do, or a long-term customer is loyal but does not get better terms in return. Or, a client has to threaten to go elsewhere to get a better price. Empathy levels decline when customers are forced to sign up for services that they do not need, and employees are reluctant to deal with customer problems. The Empathy pillar is specific in that it is strongly influenced by particular employees of the operator and their ability to interact well with people.
The cause of this lagging behind may be, among other things, the fact that large mobile and fixed-service providers have complicated business processes and technology and are subject to regulation. For some of them, regulatory compliance may be given higher priority than fulfilling customer expectations.
Mobil.cz, Vodafone and Sazka Mobil show stability in being ranked in the top three in this sector. In 2018, Mobil.cz saw a decline (probably because of a change in the conditions governing mobile internet use) but in 2019 it returned to first place. In particular, customers appreciate the company’s favourable offers for calls and data. Vodafone excels in customer ratings in terms of network quality and coverage. However, Czech Telecommunications Office data indicate that all operators have nearly 100 per cent coverage of the Czech territory and population, and Vodafone actually lags behind in certain technologies and frequencies. In terms of customer experience, Vodafone stands out particularly thanks to its long-term emphasis on global standards. Customers become aware of coverage quality (or the lack thereof) only when something goes wrong, whereas a helpful attitude and efforts to solve a problem get noticed immediately.
The intergenerational comparison shows that younger age groups are inclined to use mobile internet and prefer to use online channels such as chat to communicate with the operator. Their strong representation among Mobil. cz customers is evidence of this. Generation Y likes this brand the most. Generation Z, the youngest group, which incidentally in the overall rankings is the most demanding, uses Mobil.cz very often, but Vodafone won in terms of satisfaction.
Generation X uses a wide range of channels, including branches, and signal coverage is important for them. This group also gives Vodafone the best rating. Compared with other generations, it also indicates above-average levels of satisfaction with the Sazka Mobil operator.
The postwar generation clearly favours the established telecommunications trio (T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2) above virtual operators. It is more strongly represented among O2 and T-Mobile customers, even though they do not have a very positive impression of these companies, in contrast to Vodafone or Mobil.cz. A human approach by staff is important for this generation. In comparison with other age groups, UPC performs very well among the older generation.
In the future, the question is how Vodafone’s merger with UPC will impact customer experience. Furthermore, telecommunications service clients can expect a fusion of fixed and mobile services, allowing cheaper transfers of large data volumes, a better option than with a mobile service (including 5G) alone. Consequently, new databased services, such as augmented reality, can be further developed. The issue is whether every operator will manage to offer truly satisfactory connections for such technology.
“Vodafone is […] quite a nice company. Before, it was good for young people (in the Oskar days). Now, it’s not so targeted.” (Vodafone, Older Generation)
“Everyone is very nice. […] I know being nice is in their job description, but it’s great. I had a SIM problem once, and the guy I spoke to helped me, and it brightened my day.” (T-Mobile, Generation X)
“Nice prices, free internet for recharging. It’s ideal if you’re not interested in tariffs.” (Mobil.cz, Generation Z)