Wednesday, May 12, 2004

What you should know about how 60 people under 30 think

Great article linked to by Techdirt can be found here on the Canadian version of IT Business.

Some excerpts from the article (note that the survey was of around 60 people under 30 years of age in Canada):

"Cellular providers, brace yourself: They really don't like you. Your customer service is inadequate. Your billing is inaccurate. Calls get dropped. The single factor that makes them stick to the carrier they're with now is the ability to keep their existing phone numbers. "That's not loyalty," remarked one, "that's a trap."

Not much different than here in the US. Why is it that cell phone providers work so hard to get new customers and try very little to keep existing customers? Probably the same reason why the express line at the supermarket rewards people spending the least amount of money (10 items or less), while forcing the person with $300 worth of groceries to stand in line for 15 minutes.

". . . every consumer panelist had a gas station micropayment card, either an Esso Speedpass or a Shell EasyPay tag. And in terms of customer behaviour, it's probably the application that has the most influence, especially when it's 30 below outside. Panelists agreed they go out of their way for a Shell or Esso station, just for the convenience factor. One seemed to yearn for a world in which it was the only way to pay: "If everyone used it," he said, "life would be much simpler."

Wow! That's powerful stuff! By the way, I'm under 30 in the US, I have a Mobil Speedpass and go out of my way to go to Mobil gast station because it's easier.

". . . panelists didn't seem to be terribly worried about the amount of data being collected on them through wireless transactions with regard to spending and travel patterns. "As long as it doesn't interfere with my life," remarked one -- which means no spam or junk mail. I'm loath to say it, but in the trade-off between privacy and convenience, there may be a little more wiggle room than we think."

Marketers, are you listening? You'll get the same reaction from me: track me, data warehouse me, but don't you dare spam or junk mail me without my permission.

"They expect a lot for the money they're paying. Would they pay a five per cent premium to have a personal customer representative assigned to their mobile phone accounts? No."

Yes! I expect a lot of payout for more money. There's more to it, though. I am willing to pay the price for premium products, but not necessarily extra for premium services that ought to be included anyway. Get it?

"A point clearly made repeatedly: Loyalty is not in their vocabulary. At least, so they say."

I don't know if I 100% agree with this. For what I would consider commodity-type items, I do agree; do you pay attention to what brand of milk you buy? However, for premium items, I do stay loyal to brands. Is this the difference between US and Canada?

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