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Cheaper by the Bundle

5/08/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

A survey commissioned by CSG Systems Inc. has found consumers would be more open to bundled packages from telecommunications-service companies if those offerings include price discounts for multiple services and packages tailored to their personal interests.

The phone survey of 1,000 Americans, conducted the week of April 11, found that less than one-third of Americans purchase all their telecommunications services from one provider.

More than 67% said that providing a discount on bundled services was the single most important factor in purchasing multiple services from a telecom provider. Also, a majority also said that “a better bundled package of services tailored to personal interests” would be an important step for a service provider to enhance service.

“Understanding our client’s customer and their needs is a top priority for us,” said Steve Borelli, vice president of strategic initiatives at billing vendor CSG. “We’re trying to improve the end customer experience. Consumers want a better bundle and services tailored to their individual preferences.”

Exactly how much of a discount consumers wanted was not probed in the survey, but Borelli said clients have found success with discounts between 5% and 15%.

In some cases, steeper temporary discounts added to consumer resentment, he said. Service providers may want to pursue lower discounts with ongoing rewards, as opposed to making a big up-front price cut, according to Borelli.

Packaging specialized content, such as Internet-music packages for customers who watch music programming on cable, also had consumer appeal. Sports is another natural TV-to-PC content tie-in, he said.

The survey found that 42% of subscribers were in a two-product bundle, while 18% were taking three products and 10% taking four products (cable, high-speed Internet, landline phone and wireless phone) from a single provider.

Applications like caller ID on the TV also could help glue customers to a single service provider. “It’s little things like that go a long way in the consumer world,” he said.

 

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April