Tech Chats: EY’s Adrian Baschnonga on digital homes and changing consumer needs

I spoke to Adrian Baschnonga from EY about the firm’s upcoming Digital Home report and changing consumer needs.

Hi Adrian, welcome back. So, you’re here to talk us about EY’s upcoming Digital Home report. Can you tell us a little bit more about the kind of research that EY’s undertaking?

Absolutely. We recently conducted a survey of 2,500 broadband households in the UK, ascertaining their attitudes to a range of technology, media and telecommunications services.

As part of that, our field of enquiries has been pretty wide. We’ve looked at content, consumption.

We’ve looked at the state of connectivity in the home and we’ve also divided up the market into eight distinct segments, which really reflect the diversity of needs in the digital home.

OK, great. Can you tell us a little bit more about the key findings and the trends that you are seeing emerging?

The key findings in this year’s survey are largely positive in terms of households becoming increasingly digital.

We are seeing connectivity being relied upon for home working more and more. We are seeing the smartphone and tablet being used as the primary internet access device in the home.

We are also seeing content consumption evolving in new ways. The proportion of households that are using multiple device streaming, for example, has doubled year-on-year.

Having said that, behind these promising stats, there is some caveats. A significant minority of households are actively seeking time away from the internet-enabled devices. There’s still quite a lot of confusion in the market. A significant minority of households don’t actually know their broadband speed, for example.

We’re also seeing that on a year-on-year basis, pain points around switching broadband providers haven’t improved.

With that in mind, what do TMT service providers need to bear in mind to capitalise on those changing consumer needs?

It’s really about understanding these different nuances in terms of customer profiles needs and attitudes. So, for example, the importance of a simple value proposition is really, really relevant here. It’s not good enough just to add new products and features to existing bundle packages. That actually risks overwhelming customers at a time when they value simplicity and they require greater trust from their service providers.

At the same time, customer service should not be overlooked. We’re actually finding that customer service is an increasingly important attribute sought by customers in their service providers.

We are also seeing that there is a significant minority of customers who would pay a premium for better customer service. So, in this light, providing better levels of multi-channel support are absolutely critical, particularly at a time when households are warming to new channels such as chat bots.

And finally, there are a range of counterintuitive correlations emerging in this year’s survey. For example, we are seeing rising customer satisfaction but also rising propensity to switch. Why is that? A lot of customers who are very satisfied are also very informed, they’re also very knowledgeable so they are ready to switch at the drop of a hat.

Many dissatisfied customers are, in contrast, actually have had poor switching experiences in the past and may not actually be ready to switch. So, drilling down into these specific customer segments allows you to isolate specific areas of demand going forward.

Great, well thank you so much for your time Adrian. It was was great to see you again.

Thank you.