Text to Switch: the telco industry speaks to millennials in a language they understand

Karl Gilbert
LinkedIn

Recent regulation from Ofcom means that customers can now switch mobile providers by simply sending one free text message. At Raylo, we believe this move is only the start of a major shift in the industry.

It’s already prompted a phenomenal boost in people switching to SIM-only deals (last July saw the third largest sales volumes seen since 2014).

Equally, it's great to see the industry starting to speak the language of digital natives. Now people can literally ‘dump’ their old mobile network as they would a bad date.

When it comes to just about every other consumer sector, convenience and immediacy is firmly at the heart of the customer experience and has been for some time. According to a recent study[1] from Retail Assist, Generation Z expects the shopping experience to be centred completely around them.

With this in mind, it’s good to see an industry that has plenty of opportunity to be a lot smarter, finally drive some positive customer experience innovation.

What’s taken so long?

Perhaps the inertia comes from a place of complacency. No one’s offering anything better, so why change? Whatever the reason, Ofcom’s move will likely force network operators to look closely at their own offerings to see how they can better match the customer’s increasingly convenience-led expectations.

We’ve already seen the UK’s biggest mobile companies challenged to reduce their monthly bills and simplify their offerings in the hope of retaining customers, for example by offering separate contracts for data and handsets. We can expect some more changes in the coming months, particularly in the run-up to the new iPhone launch as everyone battles to offer the best deals. 

What’s next for the industry?

Needless to say, Ofcom’s introduction of text-to-switch has been a long time coming, and there is still work to be done. Research shows that inclusive mobile phone contracts still dominate the market, which leaves customers paying for more data than they need, and largely oblivious to the best available deal for their handsets.

Bear in mind we enjoy unlimited music, TV, travel, food, even bank accounts, all at the click of our smartphone, and without the need to actually ‘own’ any of it. At Raylo, this is what we see as being the natural next step – the move away from needing to own your handset in the interests of having all the data you need and the handset you want to use at a lower cost.

Combine this with the fact we’re spending more time than ever before on our smartphones (Generation Z spends almost 11 hours a day engaged with digital content), it’s high time there was a smarter, more convenient way to purchase what’s undeniably become our ‘digital best friend’.

[1] 2018 Report by Retail Assist in conjunction with Nottingham Trent University – ‘Generation Z and the future of retail’

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