On Wednesday, I was asked to chair the 2nd day of the Customer Experience Management (CEM) in Telecoms Global Summit held in London.
It was a fascinating day and provided me with a great snapshot of the trends, thoughts and issues facing operators today, as they seek to deliver ever more sophisticated products and services to an increasingly demanding customer base.
Operators are at the forefront of how consumers are adopting new digital services. They face a challenge in this to ensure their products, services and processes are tuned to provide the highest standards of customer experience. Failure to do so will be treated harshly by customers with high expectations.
In an earlier post I shared an infographic that states that 17% of customers will consider churning after one service problem, 40% will leave after 2 problems and a further 28% will leave after three — which altogether means that 85% will consider leaving based on bad customer experience. So the good news is that 15% will never leave, no matter how bad the service. The final consideration is that most of these customers will never tell operators they are unhappy — they will simply leave.
During the day we heard from Customer Experience executives from operators such as AT&T, Orange, EE, T-Mobile and O2. We heard about the diversity of channels that were opening up over which operators were being expected to provide care. Social Media and Mobile being the most prominent among these. We heard about the latest technologies being trialled in the call centre such as voice biometric authentication and interactive video conferencing reminiscent of ‘Minority Report’.
There were a number of very interesting speakers, but I took the following as three key themes:
A number of speakers reflected that telecom operators today are not proactive enough to really improve customer experience. Many spoke of customer experiences that could be pre-empted and improved before they ended up as a call to the call center, or a cry for help over social media. This is a key belief of ours at Brite:Bill. Operators should know when a bill is going to be big, or when there are a lot of costs out of bundle. They should use the bill to address these obvious issues that create customer confusion and drive call center traffic.
At the heart of many talks given by the Customer Experience professionals, there was a desire to ensure each process and interaction with customers was as tailored and personalized as possible. For most organizations this level of personalization and tailored experience is difficult to implement based on the existing legacy technologies. Brite:Bill’s Personalized Billing can overcome the challenge of legacy technology to deliver a highly tailored and personalized bill for each and every customer.
Another key theme that arose was that blindly opening up new customer contact channels is not sufficient to improve customer experience. In the past there has been a rush to provide customer care over social media and mobile. While this certainly provides convenience for the customer, it can also cause problems. Social Media, for example, is a very public forum to deal with customer dissatisfaction. This all points to the importance of thinking about Customer Experience right from the very start of how operators design and develop new products and services. It highlights the necessity of the customer’s experience being coordinated across channels, otherwise it becomes frustrating for customers who have to repeat themselves and end up feeling they are not being listened to. Brite:Bill puts co-ordinated customer workflow at the heart of our personalized bill presentation solutions. Every bill puts the customer’s needs and wants first, going far beyond being just a demand for payment.