Telecom companies are faced with persistent challenges ranging from stiff competition to demanding consumers. These challenges are difficult to overcome and often result in dissatisfied customers that aren’t loyal to certain telecom brands. According to data from the Database Marketing Institute, telecom companies experience annual churn rates of between 10 and 67 % annually, and 75 % of consumers signing a telecom contract are coming from another firm. There can be several reasons for high churn levels, but the central issue is the customer experience with the telecom brand.
Telecom companies are not fully leveraging digital tools and content for the optimal omnichannel experience. Telecom firms need to adjust to the “always online” consumer. Armed with mobile devices, consumers expect to be able to access and control their information/account/profile, and receive fast responses to any inquiries. Companies that don’t make this connection seamless for the consumer risk falling behind competitors.
Improving Experiences and Reducing Costs with Self-Service
Many firms that work with digitally-connected customers are seeing the benefits of self-service platforms that allow consumers to quickly answer questions. These platforms are technically easy to create, but must be well constructed to offer value to busy consumers. Usage of these portals encourages customer interaction with the telecom providers’ other online tools, for example user forums. Self-service platforms also reduce staffing costs by encouraging customers to take ownership of their plan and information.
Using Big Data to Tailor Experiences
Within the telecom realm, using Big Data means finding value in customer information so the business can be more competitive. Adjustments can be made based on analysis of data, even in real time. Big Data can uncover trends in customer needs, shed light into inefficient business operations.
The Cloud Supports it All
The underlying technology that enables instant collaboration, social sharing, and an easily accessible self-service platform is (not surprisingly) the cloud. Technology platforms on the cloud offer the flexibility, scalability and cost control that simply cannot be matched by legacy infrastructures. CRM and content management solutions for example have both shifted to the cloud to enable faster sharing and collaboration. In the omnichannel environment, telecoms need to connect the data that is generated from each interaction so they can offer a seamless experience.
Benefits of a Tech-Focused Strategy
- Reduced Costs: When technology solutions promote customer self-service and more productive internal communications, then costs can be reduced. Big Data initiatives can substantially reduce costs by tackling churn issues. Internally, a data-driven approach to marketing, sales, and service means workers are more efficient and work more collaboratively.
- Accessibility to Information: The key initiative for telecom companies is developing systems that present Big Data in a usable and shareable form. Technology initiatives need to fulfill the primary goals of improving and guiding the consumer experience through enhanced collaboration.
- Engaged Customers and Loyalty: Through data analytics, targeted reward programs and promotions, telecoms can use loyalty to prevent consumers from doing price comparisons with other providers, and to view their current provider in a better light.
A key lesson for telecom providers is to not implement new technology just for technology’s sake. They need to review existing processes to see if they are still functional, and then plan new technologies that can fix any broken areas. Doing this well requires telecoms to picture the entire customer experience, from initial marketing efforts to the sale, and then long-term service and satisfaction.
TechBlocks recently partnered with one of the largest Canadian telecom providers to provide them with a well-defined roadmap for their self-serve strategy that was aligned with their strategic business needs and guided them on a customer-centric approach. Visit www.tblocks.com to learn more.