T-Mobile boasts more loyal customers than any of the other Big Four telecoms, according to BI Intelligence’s exclusive Digital Telecom Consumer survey.
In fact, almost a quarter of T-Mobile’s subscriber base said they wouldn’t switch mobile carriers for anything. Customer loyalty among the three other big US telecoms is low in comparison:
- AT&T’s and Verizon’s customer bases aren’t nearly as loyal T-Mobile’s. Only 16% of AT&T subscribers said they wouldn’t switch on account of competing features. And an almost equal share of Verizon’s customers expressed the same sentiment — 15% said they wouldn’t switch.
- Sprint ranked worst for customer loyalty among the Big Four. Only 7% of Sprint’s wireless subscribers said they wouldn’t switch carriers for anything.
The results are a huge win for T-Mobile — customer loyalty matters to US telecoms now more now than ever, for several reasons:
- US smartphone penetration is approaching saturation, causing mobile carriers to fight over each other’s subscribers. About 95% of Americans own a cell phone and 77% own a smartphone, according to Pew Research, making new subscribers a rare commodity.
- To win that fight, mobile carriers are engaging in a price war, which is compressing margins — and making customer volume more important than ever. Average revenue per user across the Big Four dropped to $45 in Q1 2017, from $49 in Q1 2014. To remain profitable, carriers need to maintain or grow their customer base.
- The end of the two-year contract has made it easier for consumers to switch providers. Consumers have long been tethered to their carriers via contracts — being able to switch carriers quickly and without penalty makes loyal customers especially valuable for telecoms.
But a more loyal customer base can only go so far in protecting T-Mobile from aggressive competition. Forty-two percent of T-Mobile subscribers said they’d switch to a provider that offered better coverage where they live. This is higher than both AT&T and Verizon.
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