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Strategy

Calling All Telecom Providers: How to Win in the Digital Revolution

The telecommunications industry has an abysmal customer retention rate. Here’s what they can do to keep their companies and leave their competitors behind

Anna Kosuv
January 05 2018

When was the last time you experienced a soul crushing customer interaction? Here’s a disheartening truth about the telecommunications industry; no matter what we spend with our provider, poor customer experience is all too common. Those eye-roll inducing, heart racing, patience destroying conversations make it easy to appreciate the difference with digital-first companies like Apple and Amazon, that provide their customers with frictionless buying experiences. Gartner predicted that in 2020, 85% of customer interactions won’t need human intervention. This may seem like a bold statement but Gardner had it right from one perspective: Those who will win with customer experience will be those who will aim for complete automation. We’ll go through the telecommunication industry’s most disruptive tactics, and the ways they can compete, and win against their communications counterparts that have gone digital.

#1 Strategy First

The problem: Your competition has gone digital, and you’re lagging because you don’t have a customer engagement strategy. Many integrated brands fail to leverage existing assets and strengthen internal capabilities and transition to digital. As a result, they are losing the ability to move into digitally contestable markets. Without going digital, solving customer issues becomes a challenge.

The solution: Creating a strategy for digital creates positive customer experiences across social, mobile, analytics and Internet of Things (IoT), which enables you to sell more efficiently. When you have an engagement strategy for different customer segments and you have a plan for your data, your customer service department can personalize the experience and deliver the best solution for each customer.

#2 Breaking Down Silos

The problem: A 2015 Work Management Survey showed that 34% of workers were unhappy with their company’s work management process. If employees are suffering internally, it disrupts what should be a seamless interaction with customers. If processes aren’t orchestrated, messages aren’t aligned, and employee moral tanks, customers suffer.

The solution: Aligning departments allows for consistent and fluid communications, resulting in a better customer experience. This ultimately benefits customers, because if there’s a good workflow internally.  When human interaction and automated communications are aligned, the messages are personalized, and customers are happy as a result of prompt and accurate service.

#3 Operational inefficiencies

The problem: The role of customer service is to generate long-term revenue, but the call-center is rarely regarded as a revenue generator. Top performers often see the call-center as a “cost.” And, with tight management and poor training, costs can spiral.

The solution: For today’s consumer, digital channels are the preferred method for interaction. Customers that utilize digital channels like social media and the mobile, generate savings by reducing call-center volume. The volume of tweets targeted at a brand or service has more than doubled in the past two years. We need to be where our customers are to and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

#4 The Data game

The Problem: Most likely, your company is suffering if you’re not taking advantage of AI to gather customer data. What’s more is that your data may not be ‘clean’ as a result of inefficient filters for customer segmentation. This hinders the achievement of a personalized customer experience. With poor data, comes poor customer service. And, when Customer Service Providers (CSPs) aren’t keeping up with the right technologies to gather customer intelligence for the customer care department, the customer suffers.

The Solution: With AI, your data gathering efforts are more refined and the technology enables companies to become more customer-centric.

#5 Retention and Loyalty

The problem: Customer care often falls by the wayside – making it difficult for customers to get the help they need. This leaves customers will a horrendous impression of your company.

The solution: Successful companies provide simplicity and communication at the right time through the right channel in order to retain customers. They’re more agile and open to taking risks, while empowering employees from all departments to work together. One successful way of delivering communication is to enable a “live chat” feature to make your call center easily accessible when there is an immediate difficulty. Have social media support personalize the customer experience and target customers on a personal level to drive the buyer’s journey.

Blending in automation with Customer Service

Winning over your customers starts with a delivering a seamless customer interaction, and digital is the way you’ll get there. Automating the process to include contact analytics and optimization strategies will ensure a more delightful customer experience. The giants in your industry are already there, it’s time to go digital or go home.

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Anna Kosuv

Storyteller. Mixing business, creativity & psychology for a living. Sales and marketing automation enthusiast powered by psychedelic music and vintage finds. Anna calls Toronto her home, but is a world traveler thanks to the laptop lifestyle. Her secret? Just do it!

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