Life's best moments sometimes happen when least expected -- and wireless technology can help make them better and more frequent for families and friends.
So say customers of U.S. Cellular (USM), who participated in the wireless carrier's Better Moments online survey¹ last month. Seventy-six percent of respondents say their mobile devices save them time and an equal number say it makes their lives easier. In addition, one in three says their mobile device has improved their relationships with their children.
Interestingly, the survey found that even though texting, email, social media, picture messaging and video chat have all become hugely popular forms of communication on mobile phones, nearly 75 percent of respondents said that there's still nothing like picking up the phone and hearing someone's voice. Seventy-three percent said phone calls still improve their relationships more than any form of mobile communication, followed by text messaging (66 percent), picture/video messaging (35 percent), social networking sites (31 percent), email (25 percent) and video chat (9 percent).
"The survey findings confirm what we have long known -- that for every family member, from grandparents to kids, mobile technology is embedded in our lives," said Dave Kimbell, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for U.S. Cellular. "Mobile devices help us communicate more frequently, share experiences immediately, and generally enrich the quality of our relationships. Whether at home or on-the-go, U.S. Cellular is providing the tools needed to help consumers create, discover, enhance and share life's Better Moments with their families."
According to the survey, while mobile technology is creating Better Moments for families to make their lives easier, more efficient and meaningful, 69 percent of respondents still say they don't fully utilize the features and services on their phones. Of those, about 31 percent say they want to use more features but don't know how.
U.S. Cellular wants to help and has outlined a series of programs and services to help ensure that parents and children alike are equipped to enjoy Better Moments to their fullest, whether finding educational apps to help your children do well in class, learning how to eat healthier or finding the best restaurants near you while exploring a new city with the family.
Better Moments Advisory Board
In 2013, U.S. Cellular is building a community of like-minded customers eager to enhance everyday events by creating, capturing and sharing meaningful moments using their mobile devices. To help identify and share effective tips for enabling better moments through technology, U.S. Cellular is inviting select customers to participate in a first-ever advisory committee, named the Better Moments Advisory Board. Members will be selected from locations throughout U.S. Cellular's footprint, and will participate in monthly and ongoing discussions about how technology enables better moments at various times -- like on summer road trips, holiday gatherings or everyday activities.
Their suggestions will be shared via U.S. Cellular's Facebook page, local media outlets and blogs.
Better Moments Parent-Child Agreement
For U.S. Cellular, it is not only important to listen to customers, but also to act on their needs. From the survey results, U.S. Cellular discovered that while 91 percent of parents set mobile phone usage guidelines for their children, 63 percent indicated they would find it helpful to have a parent-child agreement to guide their ability to supervise children's usage and behavior with mobile devices. As such, U.S. Cellular is creating a Better Moments Parent-Child Agreement, a document to guide the conversations parents and children can have in determining guidelines for using a mobile device safely, courteously and appropriately. It will be available for download in mid-June, and can be customized by you and your child based on your preferences.
Kimbell added, "Mobile devices provide numerous benefits for parents and children, along with certain responsibilities. We encourage parents and their children to mutually create an agreement that establishes acceptable guidelines that will help ensure they have nothing but Better Moments with wireless."
Device Workshops & Family Protector
U.S. Cellular is providing two other services to help families make the most of their Better Moments. In the coming months, its retail stores will host Better Moments Device Workshops, where moms, dads, kids and grandparents learn tips on making the most of mobile devices to enhance everyday life. These special workshops in July and November will focus primarily on preparing children for their first mobile device. The workshops are open to all consumers, not just U.S. Cellular customers, and are part of a series of Device Workshops on a variety of topics. Visit http://events.uscellular.com/store_events.html for workshop dates and times.
Parents can achieve greater peace of mind when their children are away from them with U.S. Cellular's Family Protector App. This service provides safety and security by monitoring your child's location and mobile usage. Features include the ability to review calls, block websites and restrict apps. Your child can even send an alert to you with the simple press of a button.
Better Moments Survey Highlights
Many survey respondents indicated that mobile devices are improving their relationships with friends and family members, by enabling them to:
Communicate more frequently (77 percent)
Share experiences right away (66 percent)
Share moments that would have otherwise been missed (52 percent).
Also, respondents noted many ways mobile devices are improving their lives, by:
Saving time (76 percent)
Making life easier (76 percent)
Helping them feel closer to family (58 percent).
69 percent do not utilize their phone to full capacity
76 percent say a mobile device saves me time
76 percent say a mobile device has made my life easier
88 percent take pictures/video with their phone
1 in 3 say their mobile device has improved relationships with their children
66 percent say a mobile device improves relationships by updating each other immediately/sharing experiences right away
55 percent use their mobile device to improve their child's education
51 percent feel educational apps have made their children more successful in school
¹ Between April 1-5, 2013, a total of 527 online interviews were conducted among U.S. Cellular post-paid customers by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Directions Research Inc.