The issue of customer experience has become a charged topic that is attracting considerable attention across many industry sectors and verticals. There is growing recognition that personalisation matters and that it extends to the way in which providers deal with their customers.
Sadly, the telecoms industry is lagging behind. Studies in Europe have highlighted the need for improvement across the industry. For example, one recent report from the Institute of Customer Service (UK Customer Satisfaction Index, January 2017) ranks performance in different sectors. The two worst performing are utilities and telecoms – with telecoms propping up the table in last position). Such studies clearly point to the need for improvement across the industry generally. Worse, NPS, a key metric adopted by the telecoms industry is also down.
Clearly, efforts to address customer experience are not delivering. And yet, they should. According to the Institute, there is “compelling evidence of tangible links between customer satisfaction and business performance” – in other words, happier customers spend more, leading to better business results. So, what’s happening and, more importantly, what can be done?
While some telecoms service providers have invested heavily in contact centres, these do not necessarily deliver the expected results. Indeed, many of the top performers do not offer contact centre facilities at all – and yet report high levels of customer satisfaction. For those that do, they embrace a different approach from most telecoms service providers, liberating staff from scripts and focusing on building dialogues through a conversation. This contrasts with the often-frustrating approach offered by traditional telecoms service providers.
Moreover, many MVNOs do not invest heavily in contact centres, depending on the attractiveness of their low cost-offer to win customers. But, with more and more low-cost offers available, differentiation is required to not only win but also to retain customers. As such, customer experience and satisfaction represent opportunities to provide differentiation.
But, if a contact centre is not necessarily the answer, what is? The Institute offers some suggestions. It has created six focus areas that it believes will “help organisations develop customer experience strategies deliver sustained performance and generate loyalty and recommendation”. What are these and how can they help MVNOs and MNOs? Read Part 2 to find out! If you can’t wait until then, why not get in touch to see how Digitalk Mobile Cloud can help you boost customer experience for your business?