By Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of Marketing, WDS, A Xerox Company

 Recent results from the annual WDS Mobile Loyalty Audit underline that service price, reliability and network coverage remain key priorities for consumers choosing a new service plan. An overwhelming 85 percent of respondents said price was key, while a staggering 89 percent of high-spenders said that customer service was very important to their purchase decision.

“85 percent of respondents said price was key. Among high-spending customers, 89 percent said that customer service was very important to their purchase decision.” -- Tim Deluca-Smith

“85 percent of respondents said price was key. Among high-spending customers, 89 percent said that customer service was very important to their purchase decision.” — Tim Deluca-Smith

However, despite mobile operators focus on migrating subscribers over to more lucrative 4G plans, intent to upgrade to 4G remains inconsistent between markets, age groups and service plan tenure. Customers in the first year of their contract had a higher propensity to upgrade to 4G with 29 percent expressing intent to step up to 4G. This compares to just 23 percent of customers with over six years of tenure. The cost of 4G is also proving to be a stumbling block, and 66 percent of customers with low monthly spend did not plan on upgrading to 4G.

Recommendations also proved to be largely irrelevant in choosing a new mobile operator. Globally, less than half of customers consider it very important in the decision making. The importance of recommendation declines with age. Between the ages of 16-34, just under half of customers (46%) consider it very important, while this declines to 31 percent for over-60-year-olds. For operators, getting the basics right remains of vital importance to customer acquisition.

Learn more about the WDS Mobile Loyalty Audit.

This article was originally published on the WDS blog. WDS, A Xerox Company, transforms customer service for the telecoms industry through care automation, analytics and knowledge management. acquisition