FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Apr 14, 2015
-- Newbury, Berkshire, UK, April 15, 2015 /PressReleasePing/ - UK Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Virtual Operators (MVNOs) have long been battling over who has the best network account app and Connected Digital, a UK App Software and App Analytics company have checked over 12,000 customer reviews from the top 10 network apps to find out exactly which one UK customers like the most.
What Connected Digital discovered by crunching the reviews was surprising. Despite the parent networks providing the bulk of the core operator capability with the voice and data networks owned by O2, Vodafone, EE and 3 respectively, the overall service provided by the MVNOs was largely better liked by UK customers. In fact a lot of the negativity within the MVNO apps was aimed at the coverage and network quality provided by the parent network.
Which UK Network Operator has the best liked app?
Based on the percentage of total reviews that come with a 5 star rating, the clear winner out of all the network and virtual network apps is Tesco Mobile the outright winner on both Android and iOS platforms. The Tesco app's performance on Android is especially noteworthy as it received nearly twice the % of 5 stars as its closest rival Giff Gaff.
What else did the survey uncover?
Stats and percentages tell you a lot at face value but they don't tell you everything and without the full picture they can often be a bit misleading.
The top three apps all run on the O2 network
Those of you familiar with UK networks will know that the MVNOs ultimately run on a parent network. We see here that there there could well be a correlation between the quality of the network and the degree of customer satisfaction. The top three apps are all the most liked across Android and iPhone. They very nearly have the least disliked as well, except for the fact that Vodafone's My Vodafone app is the third least disliked Android app by volume of 1 star reviews. Those of a more Red persuasion might even consider that being fourth behind three apps that run on O2 puts Vodafone 'as a network' in second place.
Vodafone has 10 times more 5 star reviews than O2
It's one thing to have the highest percentage of 5 star reviews but it doesn't matter a jot if you only have 5 reviews in total. App store rankings are based as much on how many reviews you have as well as the rating attributed to that review. This isn't an exhaustive list of MNO and MVNO apps, we also assessed Lyca Mobile and BT Mobile (see further down) but the review volumes are not significant enough to be deemed a valid sample size. Vodafone could be considered slightly unlucky to feature in 4th place overall when collectively their app has nearly 4,500 reviews across Android and iOS which is nearly twice as many as the sum of reviews from the three apps above them, O2, Giff Gaff & Tesco Mobile. Out of all the apps My Vodafone received the most reviews, EE had the second most with just 2% less than Vodafone. Tesco had the third highest volume of reviews so they're not just sitting pretty on the % of good ratings, there's genuine quantity behind the quality of the ratings.
EE has the most disliked as well as the least liked app
Quite often when these comparisons are done the least liked app isn't the most disliked but in this case the My EE app has the unenviable accolade of having both the fewest percentage of 5 star reviews as well as the highest percentage of 1 star reviews. Nearly 90% of the iPhone app's reviews are 1% and this equates to around 3,000 dissatisfied customers. Such negativity surprised us a bit, especially since we have read a few good reviews about the EE app elsewhere so we did a bit of further analysis into what was bugging EE customers. It wasn't Kevin Bacon it seems, only 21 of the 1 star reviews took exception to his presence. Here's what the 1 star iPhone reviews told us.
76% could not use the app as expected
67% were due to technical problems
26% from dissatisfied customers using the store to complain about EE and the app
9% are from customers who couldn't get their data usage
7% are UE issues, mostly from poor iPhone 6 support.
From what we can see it's not so bad if you're an EE customer but Orange and T-Mobile customers appear to be having the most difficulty.
BT Mobile could be the one to look out for
There are more MVNO apps out there and by the looks of things, BT Mobile could be a real contender in the future. At the moment the app is only a few weeks old so the 5 star reviews are as likely to be a bit of internally generated astroturfing as they are genuine customer reviews. With the BT acquisition of EE likely to be sealed as soon as clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority is granted, it could be that EE customers will have to endure a poor experience until everything is sorted out. If the BT Mobile app is as good as the claims it may even present a good opportunity for EE to model its own app on a better liked service. In stark contrast to the EE app A 5 star review percentage of 85.7 on iOS and 53.8 on Android would put the BT Mobile app right at the top of this list had there been enough reviews to justify its inclusion.
The opening paragraph eludes to the challenges network operators face in getting positive reviews from customers. It's clear to see that even the best MNO apps can be outdone by their own MVNO offerings and my view on this is it's as much to do with the "utility" impact on brand perception as it is to do with poor apps. Feedback extracted from the four MNO apps from EE, O2, 3 & Vodafone was rife with unrelated gripes about the network operator itself. In each case this brought the overall star rating from reviews down. This is not a prevalent issue in the MVNO apps where 1 star feedback relates primarily to parent network coverage, technical and billing issues.
Had a coefficient been factored in that took the volume of reviews into equation and amplified the overall score as a result then the Tesco Mobile app would still be top on merit, with the My Vodafone app featuring in second place. Despite My EE having nearly as many reviews as My Vodafone, the sheer volume of negative reviews would still push it towards the bottom.
For more on App Store Optimisation, Reviews Insights and turning reviews into product actions contact David Copeland on [email protected]
1 Oxford Road, Newbury, Berkshire