Who is the “modern telecom consumer?” Easy, you may say, it’s everyone! People of all ages and household incomes purchase telecom services or technology in one way or another.

But truly understanding this consumer takes more than demographic labels; it requires careful analysis of their interests and shopping behaviors.

New research cited below reveals insights on telecom consumers that you’ve probably never heard before. And some findings may even go against what you always thought you knew about today’s telecom consumer. Consider this:

1. Telecom consumers make decisions fast

We have always considered telecom a “research product” – consumers take their time to research their options, consider the alternatives, wait for the best price to come along, and then when the time is just right, they make the switch. And all of this research takes time, right? Well, not anymore! Forty-one percent of telecom subscribers who switched their TV services recently took less than a few days to do their research, while about 20 percent of internet and wireless switchers say they took only several hours to research and make a decision.

2. Cost is a big deal to telecom consumers

OK, you probably already knew that. But as the industry continues to implement rate increases and focus on shifting away from promotional pricing, consumers are becoming more and more price sensitive. In fact, 44 percent of consumers who switched their telecom provider in the past year said they did so to reduce costs. And promotional pricing is important – 37 percent of internet service switchers said that offers and promotions can sway their decision on which provider they pick and the number is even higher for subscribers who switched TV/video providers (38 percent) and wireless phone providers (50 percent) in the past year. Perhaps most interesting is that the desire to save is not limited to a specific income group – nearly 40 percent of consumers with an annual household income over $75K said they have recently switched providers for lower costs.

3. Telecom consumers want to talk to a real person

Yes, we live in a world of always-on internet, self-service websites and chatbots galore. Two-thirds of consumers prefer human interaction when signing up for telecom services. Almost half of recent internet switchers and 38 percent of video switchers preferred via calling and speaking to someone on the phone, while nearly one-third of wireless switchers preferred a visit to the local retail location to speak to someone face to face.

Activating the modern telecom consumer is no simple task. It is vital you reach them while they are comparison shopping so maintaining a constant share of voice across all of the different media that influence these consumers is key. Once you have their attention, entice them with messaging and a price point that excites them. Is your price point in alignment with your competitors? Is your messaging? Consumers are comparing the ads; we as marketers should be as well. Then make it easy for them to reach you by promoting your retail locations, a toll-free phone number, your website, chat capabilities, online ordering, etc.

The bottom line is this – the modern telecom consumer knows they have options. You can activate them by reaching them when they want, how they want and with the deals they want. But perhaps most important, be sure you understand what they actually want by utilizing the most up-to-date marketing research and insights available and putting the consumer first.