Communication Service Providers or CSPs are perpetually skating on thin ice. Building an exceptional customer experience that can make your brand stand out has never been more significant. Overall, customer experience for CSPs spans the entire journey of the customer’s interactions with the company – from research, purchase of service, after sales service and ease of use. In a saturated and ultra-competitive market place, CSPs strive to differentiate themselves with customer experience.
According to Forrester, telecom has the third highest potential for increasing revenue by improving CX. And by how much? According to its CX Index scoring system, telcos that increase CX scores by one point will generate an additional $3.39 in per-customer incremental revenue.
A survey conducted by leading global telecom industry association TM Forum, indicates that customer experience is one of the top three priorities for transformation programs for telecom companies
Rising significance of customer focus
Services such as Pay TV and high speed internet form a critical part of our lives. Research has shown that in fact, these are the services in which CSPs receive their lowest customer satisfaction ratings ever. Reliable, high quality and consistently good connectivity is paramount for customers and CSPs realize that this is an important aspect of customer experience in their industry. To score high on customer experience, CSPs today must adopt a proactive approach and anticipating the needs of the customers before demand arises is of the essence. Therefore, a customer focused approach to business is the go-to strategy in these highly competitive circumstances.
The Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2014/08/the-value-of-customer-experience-quantified) further quantifies this point, reporting that customers with the most satisfying experiences spend an average of 140% more than those whose experiences fell short.
Some of the Change Makers in CSP’s and how they are taking approach to improve customer experiences:
- With more technology and less time, Vodafone customers want everything in an instant. To stake their claim as leaders in Customer Experience Excellence, Vodafone has been making giant strides. With increased demand from Enterprise customers causing a dramatic shift in the market landscape, they are expected to provide customer experiences in more digital ways rather than relying on just telephonic experience.
- One more major addition to the Vodafone digital experience is the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and the use of chatbots. The convenience of a chat with a bot lies in the fact that a conversation can be picked up and continued at any time. Customers can come back to that conversation at their leisure. Conversations can also be passed to an agent, and that’s what makes it a seamless customer experience.
- The quick rollouts of discounts and plans to the market are another example of rapidly meeting the customers’ expectations according to the changing needs of customers. Recently launched Jio’s work-from-home pack was one of the recent example of it.
Telecom can apply the latest technology to enhance customer experience in these areas.
Factors that influence customer perception
- Marketing & Sales – One of the key interactions a customer has with an organization is through marketing and sales. Marketing and Sales can positively influence customer perception by placing the right offer through the right channel.
- Customer Support – Customer support centered on problem resolution is essential to a high quality customer experience. Providing customers multiple ways to get their problem resolved helps in enhancing the customer experience and creating a perception of high quality service.
- Exceeding Expectations – Services must meet or exceed expectations conveyed by the brand. A mismatch between advertising promises and service delivery can create dissonance in the minds of consumers – which can result in dissatisfaction and churn.
- Product and Service Portfolio – A diverse product and service portfolio is pivotal to maintaining competitiveness. An attractive product and service portfolio strongly influences customer choices, because it gives customer an array of services and products based on pricing, convenience or geography that they may choose from.
- Billing, Charging and Cost Management – Convenience of billing, recharging the account and cost management is key to a customer experience in case of CSPs. Competitive players focus on delighting customers with billing transparency. This helps create a perception of trust and reliability for a customer.
- Service Quality – Network interactions are at the core of services that a customer expects from a CSP. They are crucial to a healthy customer relationship. Dropped calls, service disruptions and security breaches can be significant sources of discontent.
A Customer Focused Approach
Adopting a holistic view of customer experience as a journey from research to customer success is imperative for CSPs.
1) Developing a comprehensive definition of customer experience – Any organizational goal needs to be well defined and structured before it may be achieved. An organization wide definition of customer experience is the first step towards building an exceptional customer experience. A unified definition of customer experience interpreted in the exact same way by each department in a CSP leads to unified efforts to create the experience. All customer experience improvement initiatives must begin with a definition of customer experience that it intends to achieve.
2) Developing a gauge to measure customer experience – Feedbacks and surveys at touchpoints are no longer enough to gauge the quality of customer experience for CSPs. The smart approach to measuring customer experience includes analytics of behavioral data from customer interactions with the brand, social media behavior and response to promotions online. Defining the significant touchpoints that make or break a customer’s journey and analyzing customer behavior data with regard to these touchpoints is key to an accurate assessment of customer experience for CSPs today.
3) Prioritizing Customer Experience Improvement Initiatives – When analyzing the results of customer experience improvement initiatives, CSPs must identify the initiatives that best drive business objectives and those which don’t. Initiatives which impact the customer experience most significantly must be pushed and those which don’t make a lot of difference may be phased out. Breaking through the clutter to focus on capabilities which uniquely fulfill customer needs is an important aspect of improving customer experience in the long run.
At Aarav Solutions, we take various customer satisfaction dimensions into view to develop the best customer experience definition, measurement and improvement framework for CSPs. For our clients we evaluate the numerous customer experience dimensions to define an organization wide understanding of customer experience that is unique to your company as a CSP. This ensures that the only those customer experience dimensions that impact your organization the most can be focused and a unique framework may be developed.
Winning customer loyalty and building a sustainable lead amongst the competition is only possible in the telecom industry, when CSPs adopt a customer focused approach that is value based and customer experience oriented. As customer experience is a multi-faceted subject, CSPs must identify the facets or dimensions that impact their customers the most and define customer experience uniquely for their organization. This allows for a unified organization wide effort to improve the customer experience.
Constant analysis and evaluation of these customer experience dimensions through customer behavior data and customer interaction statistics is key to finding the pain points within the customer experience. Customer experience initiatives must be driven to improve these pain points specifically and further prioritized according to impact on customer experience.
Aarav Solutions is a global product engineering and IT consulting services provider. Our clientele comes from a broad array of industries – Telecommunications, Banking & Finance, Government, Power and Utilities among various other B2B segments. Our goal is to empower businesses in their quest for digital transformation with our experience, innovation and next generation technology.