Excellence in customer experience provides an opportunity for differentiation, part 3

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Excellence in customer service depends on being able to help your customers efficiently, through automation and through tailored, relevant responses, backed by an engaged and empowered team. If your branded MVNO doesn’t meet expectations created by the brand, it risks being seen as irrelevant. In the final part of this series, we explore key tactics to help achieve excellence.

In the final part of our series of articles in customer experience, let’s take a look at the last three of the key focus areas identified in research by the Institute of Customer Service. The research is cross-sector and, since telecoms is bottom of the league, it’s worth paying attention to lessons from other industries. The final three are:
  1. Moving seamlessly between fast efficient service and proactive, empathetic help and advice
  2. Prioritising customer satisfaction means prioritising employee engagement
  3. Understanding the broader context of the customer’s relationship with your organisation

Customer service is fundamental to the overall customer experience and yet so many service providers fail to deliver, particularly in the call centre. Awkward processes, formulaic protocols and the like establish a barrier between the customer and provider which sets the wrong tone, irrespective of the channel through which service and support is delivered.

A simple “how can I help” goes a long way. Indeed, in other sectors, it’s becoming increasingly common to throw away scripts, allowing customer service agents to build a dialogue with their customers. And, while it can be argued that telecoms services have a level of complexity that demands a certain approach to service troubleshooting, it’s equally hard to argue that these are any less complex than many services available elsewhere. So, MVNOs and their peers need to consider what this means for them – how do they ensure that they address customers with the right tone and with the right – until proven otherwise – presumption that they are acting in the right spirit?

Well, to start with, they can ensure that automated replies are written effectively. The best distribution and most responsive platform cannot help if service messages are not clear, relevant and friendly. That should be easy, but it’s alarming how few pay attention to this. We can give you the tools to ensure effectively, timely and relevant communication, but we can’t choose the words. You need to personalise, but you also need to do so cost-effectively, so that you can send the right messages, time and time again, as well as in response to trigger conditions as part of your business flow (for example, when activating a SIM card and sending an SMS to welcome the customer).

But teams need to be motived to deliver, which is why employee engagement matters too. It’s no coincidence that many internet start-ups with small teams make a real investment in empowering their staff to really engage with customers. Faults can be rectified, rewards offered and people can deliver but they need to be involved. Feedback on service delivery matters in this context and the ability to deliver bonuses and rewards to customers, quickly and easily can make a real difference.

Finally, the context of a subscriber’s relationship with the provider really does matter. If the MVNO brand has been created to address a specific audience, it has to really understand this. If it’s a brand stretch from an existing vehicle, then the MVNO brand must reflect that too – with all it entails for ensuring consistency both with the audience and with the existing brand. So, communication must mirror all aspects of the brand character and ethos and has to be carefully crafted.

This summary of key findings is revealing. The gap between the best performing and the worst shows there’s a long way to go for the telecoms industry. What MVNOs need is the optimum platform to deliver the right experience to their customers, across all channels, at the right time. They need to be able to create the right messages and then identify the channels through which to send them, at the right time. That can be achieved with the Digitalk Mobile Cloud, which allows customisation and automation of communication, backed by the business intelligence to ensure its delivered at the right moment. It’s why we continue to invest in tools to help our customers deliver continuous improvement and optimisation, through automation and advanced learning.

Service is fundamental to your reputation and retention – and for building advocacy. How you deal with situations matters. The customer may not always be right but making them feel as if they matter counts. If your MVNE platform cannot help you deliver that experience with relevant, timely communication programmes, optimised to value creation, or allow your MVNO partners to do so, then it will undermine all your customer recruitment programmes. To get it right, why not see how Digitalk Mobile Cloud can help?