Top Customer Experience Management Trends in Telecoms
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s day-to-day routines drove up consumer demand for services delivered by telecoms providers. Internet traffic grew rapidly in 2020, driven by extensive home working and learning. While the telecoms sector has seen tremendous growth, what is next for telecoms’ customer experience management?
Prior to the pandemic, telecoms brands were highlighted by 19% of consumers as being the most innovative when it came to the use of technology, coming second to banking (27%). During the pandemic, telecommunications was pushed into third place with retail maneuvering into first place.
The Importance of Customer Experience in Telecoms
The rapid growth that telecoms brands have experienced is unprecedented. Taking the first step toward a closer customer relationship begins by taking a step back to review the current state of the brand’s customer experience. Where is its customer experience delivery aligning and where is it falling short of customer expectations? Winning new customers is harder and more costly than retaining existing ones. Those in the telecoms sector should now work to create seamless, personalized experiences designed to drive loyalty.
For 1/3 of adults, a single poor customer experience is enough for them to consider switching brands.Source: Sitel Group
Our own research illustrates that customer experience is a deciding factor when choosing a telecoms brand. When asked to describe the role that CX plays in choosing a telecoms brand, 70% of respondents place it amongst their top three most important factors, demonstrating that brands must prioritize the experience if they want to build loyalty and create long-term customer relationships. Moreover, for one-in-three adults, a single poor customer experience is enough for them to consider switching brands. All of this underlines the crucial role customer experience plays both in building long-term customer relationships and potentially driving customers away from one brand and toward another.
Furthermore, our research shows consumers need little encouragement to switch providers. Even in the midst of the pandemic, 43% of consumers are still prepared to sever ties with a brand after a single poor experience, and this number is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels (74%) as consumers’ patience wears thin.
Improving Customer Experience in Telecommunications
In 2020, consumers’ expectations of brands changed. Retailers’ innovative use of technology to smooth the buying process in a socially distanced world has set a high bar by which good customer experience will be measured. This, in turn, set the benchmark for what constitutes a best-in-class customer experience delivery higher for industries across the board, including telecoms brands. Today, telecoms brands must place a renewed effort on understanding customer needs and effectively leveraging technology to reduce customer effort.
Today’s telecoms consumers prefer to engage flexibly across channels. Convenient, 24/7 support and consistent service across touchpoints is essential. However, regardless of the channel, friendly and knowledgeable staff versed in efficient service has the greatest positive impact on customer satisfaction.
6 Steps to CX Success in Telecoms
Below are six steps to customer experience success for telecoms.
1. Make Customer Experience a Priority. Without making CX a priority, your organization will struggle to find loyal, long-term customers. According to Forbes, “Prioritization is the art and science of making decisions, an active process of choosing one thing over another….When done properly, prioritization of customer experience improvement projects should be a conscious action.”
2. Employ Analytics: Data-fueled analytics not only can help identify and solve problems, they tell a story. Organizations need to recognize that there is a huge difference between understanding data and understanding the story of the data.
3. Keep it Friendly and Helpful. The most important aspect of a positive, loyalty-building customer experience is friendly, knowledgeable staff (cited by 69% of respondents) – whether an interaction is online, on the phone or in-store.
4. Make it Convenient. Consumers expect round-the-clock, self-serve solutions – whenever and wherever they need it. The elements of customer experience associated with digital delivery – speed, convenience, 24/7 availability, self-service, online chat and messaging services – have become the yardstick against which all CX is measured.
5. Build Digital Experiences. A division is growing between brands who can and cannot meet their customers’ needs in digital channels. Post-COVID-19, digital customer experience (CX) delivery is now an organization’s strongest differentiator.
6. Take a Strategic Omnichannel Approach. It’s impossible to embrace the growing trends for intelligent automation, self-service or AI-powered chatbots and virtual agents unless every one of your organization’s customer touchpoints are part of a true omnichannel platform.
Learn more about the 6 Steps to CX Success in Telecoms by downloading our Checklist.
Customer Experience Management in Telecoms in 2021
The telecoms providers that flex with changing customer needs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic were able to grow rather than simply maintain their customer base. But now comes the next step: retaining these new customers and increasing their potential lifetime value by committing to delivering a best-in-class customer experience.