What Women Want … in a Telecom Provider

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Women play a key role in a household’s decision to choose a cable or satellite provider, especially in lower income homes, according to a survey commissioned last month by WE: Women’s Entertainment.

Only 7% of the 1,000 women surveyed for WE by online research firm ePoll said that the decision on which provider to pick is made entirely by another person.

WE said it also found that the younger the woman, the more recently a change in service provider occurred, with 38% of 18-to-24-year-olds having switched providers in the last six months, while 36% of women ages 55-plus had switched in the last three years.

The survey, which also queried women’s views on bundling multiple products, is part of a series of consumer research that WE said it will run through ePoll. Future survey topics will include women’s views on technology such as high-speed Internet access, along with brand affinity surveys, said WE general manager Kim Martin.

“The direction of the network is really a reflection of today’s modern woman,” Martin said. “Research like this helps us stay in tune with what women are interested in.”

WE also asked women whether they’d like to see multichannel providers package similar networks in the same “neighborhood” on a program lineup. WE could eventually use the data to help pitch cable operators on placing it adjacent to its more popular competitor Lifetime Television, which may prompt more viewers to sample the service.

WE said almost three-quarters of survey respondents said they agree that, “I would prefer to have like channels near one another in the channel lineup.” About 25% were neutral on the topic and 1% of respondents disagreed.

Elsewhere, the survey found various reasons behind why women decided to switch their service providers. WE said 24% of respondents cited price; 25% picked better programming packages; and 23% moved. Only 14% cited poor customer service as the reason behind a switch.

Other findings included:

  • Women are not as motivated to leave a traditional telco for a phone package from a cable company, with 39% of respondents saying they would be interested in jumping to a cable phone provider as part of a bundled package. When asked what would encourage them to switch phone providers, 68% said better price, while 38% cited the convenience of having one bill for both their video and phone service.
  • About 56% of women surveyed said they make joint decisions with another adult for the purchase of a telecom service, while 38% make the decision alone.
  • Women in homes with income of less than $25,000 make decisions on which service provider to use, indicating that there are more single female heads of households in lower-income homes.

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