European operators must improve customer service to reverse declining revenues, says Analysys Mason
European telecoms operators must improve customer service levels if they are to halt the long-term decline in revenue. That is the message delivered by Analysys Mason at the analyst firm’s European Telecoms Summit. The research and analysis from Analysys Mason’s report “Telecoms Services For Enterprises: Global Forecast 2017–2022” provides a warning for European operators and draws a stark contrast with high levels of customer satisfaction in the USA and Australia, as well as highlighting how operators can find new revenue opportunities.
Analysys Mason’s research of 30 operators across Western Europe, the US and Australia finds that enterprise revenue for most operators fell at an average of 2.4% in high-income countries in the first half of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016. The only European operators to buck this trend were Deutsche Telekom, which saw enterprise revenue increase by 1.4%, and Proximus in Belgium, which increased its enterprise revenue by 1.2%. Some European operators have seen revenue drop by more than 8%.
The opportunity for operators comes from delivering IT services, which currently account for less than 10% of overall revenue, but are forecast to grow 47% by 2022. The research shows the potential opportunity, but also analyses the challenges facing operators where poor customer service is limiting their ability to sell additional services and to reduce churn. In Europe, penetration of IT services from operators lags other countries, such as the USA and Australia.
Furthermore, the insights draw a clear correlation between the impact of customer service on reducing churn, finding that for every 10-point increase in an operator’s Net Promoter Score, it can reduce churn by 1.6%. Analysys Mason’s data also finds that network quality and data speeds and customer service are the major factors in churn for large enterprises, while price is a factor for only 22% of those surveyed. This shows that operators can concentrate on quality of service, rather than join a race to the bottom based on price.
“The message to operators is stark, they need to fix the basics and ensure their customers are happy before they can increase enterprise revenue,” said Tom Rebbeck, research director, Enterprise and IoT. “It’s an obvious, but seemingly ignored point, that when customers are happy they are more likely to buy additional services. European operators can learn lessons in customer service, especially from the US market leaders, and there are high rewards in new and organic revenue growth for those that get it right.”
The research also highlights that the operators that are most successful in bringing IT services to market are those that have undertaken an acquisition strategy.