At Comlinkdata, we love to look at Social Media data, not to measure what is happening in the telecom market, but to understand the why.

With a new Ghostbusters due in theaters in the summer of 2016, the team at Comlinkdata tip our hat to Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song for the 1984 original:  we assert that for telecom switchers so far in 2016, there is “something strange in the neighborhood.”

As we look to measure and understand consumer buying behavior, we isolate telecom-related tweets from wireless carriers, and developed a motivator framework to further parse the twitter feed into 8 Key Drivers that drive brand loyalty, or put another way, that drive the willingness to try something new.

The top three switching motivator mentions in Q1 and Q2 of 2015 were Data Plan (Data Allowance, Data Sharing, Data Rollover, etc), Price Plan (monthly plan cost, overage), and Customer Service (Retail service, post-sales support, etc.).   If one can call the Twitterverse representative, the biggest switching motivators in priority order in the first half of 2015 boiled down to:

  • How much data do I get?
  • At what price?
  • And what has my experience been with the provider?

Things like data coverage, network coverage, device availability, and device cost, unlike other years, didn’t make the top 3 – no offense to the colored balls!

Things began to shift a little in Q3 and Q4 of last year – customer service became the second biggest motivator behind data plan – a bigger driver of that moment of truth when people decide to stay or to go. Still the same three drivers, but the overall number of mentions began to shift.

And then, in 2016, boom –  that trend accelerated, and Customer Service became the Number 1 mentioned motivator in our analytic framework.

“Thank u, great way to treat your customers” or the less positive “HOW DOES A STORE MANAGER NOT KNOW WHAT THE BUY OUT POLICY IS!” are just a small sample of the over 22,000 tweets relating to customer service so far this year, up 30% from a comparable period just last year.

In 2016, the primary motivator year to date for “who ya gonna call” for your telecom carrier is now customer service – a big shift from just a year ago.

Check back with us in the weeks and months ahead, as we keep an eye on the telecom related tweets and what they are telling us about motivators for switching. It’s part of our interest in monitoring, understanding and forecasting consumer buying behavior in one of the most dynamic and competitive markets in the world.