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Taking customer satisfaction to the next level

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As published in Global Telecoms Business

James Eyre, VP of marketing at Firstsource Solutions, explores why customer experience is such an important part of boosting telecoms business today.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, the telecoms industry has faced significant challenges in recent months. Vodafone’s breach of consumer protection laws and the sector as a whole facing low scores in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index are both examples of the way that customer experience is shaping perceptions of the industry.

What are the reasons behind this and what can telecoms companies do to improve customer satisfaction?

A changing world

Today’s constantly-connected consumers demand more from the brands that they engage with than ever before – and quite rightly so. In a competitive marketplace, with a huge amount of choice, if customers aren’t happy they simply won’t be customers for long. What’s more, customers now shout about their bad experiences to others via social media and online reviews, often significantly impacting the purchasing decisions of their peers.

Because of this, businesses across a number of sectors are increasingly putting customer experience at the heart of their organisations. You only have to look at the time and expense retailers are investing in convenient delivery, or banks spend on the technology to develop smarter payment options to see that this is the case. Customer satisfaction is now a priority focus for brands that want to retain customers and drive growth in the future.

In the telecoms sector, there are obstacles to manage when looking to boost end-customer satisfaction. Unlike the ‘commitment-free’ retail and leisure sectors, which often have the highest satisfaction scores, the telecoms industry has traditionally done business by offering customers long-term contracts and becoming ‘providers by habit’. However, with this legacy model being challenged by the likes of giffgaff, providers are now under pressure to offer customers a higher standard of service – and one that gives them options, on their own terms.

Customer satisfaction – a way forward

To boost customer satisfaction, it is vital that telecoms businesses offer their customers solutions to a variety of problems, across multiple platforms. By doing this, they can ensure that customers feel supported where and when they need it and experience a seamless and tailored journey.

This comes down to empowering your customer service frontline – the teams that take customer calls and answer online queries on a day to day basis. You will achieve the best results and see significant improvements to your customer journeys when advisors are equipped with the confidence to focus on finding solutions or answers, rather than the time it takes for them to do so. In today’s customer-centric world, telecoms providers must make sure that they are creating helpful advisors who are given the tools they need to find solutions for each and every customer.

Aligning businesses with well-oiled customer journeys can be make or break. Customers need to feel supported by well designed, tailored processes that take into account their different journeys and needs. Indeed, it is these journeys where the battle for customer satisfaction and loyalty will be won or lost – and today telecoms providers must make sure that all their customers receive exceptional customer service.

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