Boost the customer experience from the eyes of the operator
Think back to when you opened your first bank account. Chances are, you’re still with that same bank as more people get divorced than switch bank provider, writes Brian Andrews the senior CX principal at Medallia.
Indeed, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year. Can the same be said for mobile phone contracts? Mobile operators cannot rest as easily on their laurels, and need to continually reduce churn – ultimately with the customer experience at their heart of what they offer. We’ve seen successful telco clients throughout the world gain market share by delivering superior experiences and empowering employees to drive action using insights at all levels.
In an already highly saturated market, with increasingly savvy customers looking for better deals and regulators making it easier to switch – not least Ofcom’s new regulation due to come into effect in July next year allowing mobile users to switch provider by sending a free text message – mobile operators have to fight harder than ever to keep their customers. Beyond cost-cutting or offering deals to create loyal customers, bundling premium services with the aim of upselling subscribers to larger data allowance tariffs to drive increased average revenue per user (ARPU), operators should also consider the overall customer experience.
Many mobile phone users avoid switching provider due to the hassle and inconvenience of the process. Having to go through multiple rounds of speaking to the call centre, marrying up contact details and then setting everything up again with a new provider, does not equal a good customer experience. However, our recent research with Ipsos Mori across 8,000 consumers in the UK, US, France and Germany shows that UK telecoms providers are failing to keep up with their customer expectations overall. This is even more important when that same research highlights that customer experience is the top influencing factor when choosing a telecoms provider.
So, what can telecoms companies and mobile operators do to boost the customer experience? In our experience, while providers understand the business value of improving the customer experience, few have been able to deliver on the promise. This is backed up by our research findings. Only one in ten consumers said their mobile provider has exceeded their expectations in the past year and close to a quarter (23%) said loyalty to their mobile provider has declined in the past 12 months.
The good news is that solutions are available to improve the customer experience by unifying the entire customer experience and changing the paradigm of how information is shared and acted upon. What do we mean? Tracking the customer journey, driving action at the frontline and across the organisation and, ultimately, gathering and responding to customer feedback across all channels – customer experience management (CEM).
Many CEM platform providers and point solutions have failed to incorporate all information in a speedy fashion that takes into account the complexity and scalability the telco industry requires. Often the customer data is untrustworthy or delays render the customer feedback marginally useful. This is where cloud-based solutions can provide a more holistic and real-time customer experience offering.
With a unified 360 degree view across the customer, issues affecting the customer experience can be quickly pinpointed and addressed. And, by having real-time alerts delivered to the right teams, these issues can be resolved immediately instead of weeks later – or not at all. Finally, in tandem with fixing complaints or errors, positive experiences can be collated and put to good use by creating opportunities to increase share of wallet with existing – loyal and happy – customers. Employees love being a part of a team where delivering great experiences is easy, expected, and rewarded.
If more telecoms companies and mobile operators had a unified view of the customer journey across all touch points with real-time feedback at their fingertips, the customer experience would improve. When it’s easy for employees to take prompt action and truly understand customer challenges, magic happens. The result: the number of consumers saying the customer experience with their mobile provider has improved in the past year (currently 14%) would be much higher. The same could be said across the pond and the fact that nearly half (46%) of US mobile network customers said they are likely to switch brands after having one bad experience should be a wake-up call to any mobile phone operator.
While retail banks can still – to a degree – rely on loyalty for many of their customers, mobile operators cannot become complacent. With customer behaviour and preferences constantly changing, building an action-oriented, customer-obsessed culture where employees are able to engage with the customer at each journey touchpoint in real-time, telecoms can boost the customer experience to engender loyalty and accelerate business success.