Retaining valuable customers is one of the biggest challenges service providers face today. TM Forum has just published a report titled ‘Inspire loyalty with customer lifecycle management’ which looks at the costs of customer acquisition and retention, global trends in customer churn, and its impact on revenue.

The report, sponsored by BriteBill, an Amdocs company, is essential reading for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). Based on data from 36 mobile CSPs across 24 countries, it identifies key ways in which operators can transform their business performance and combat high levels of churn. The report found that churn rates ranged from 14% to 75% for all customer types and from 5% to 32% for post-paid customers. A lot of this churn is caused by dissatisfaction amongst contract customers –  the report states that there is a demonstrable link between improved net promoter scores (NPS), better customer retention and higher revenue. In fact, TM Forum’s analysis concluded that boosting their NPS score could reduce a CSP’s churn rate by as much as 3% – transforming their financial performance.

Focusing on improving NPS is clearly a wise investment, but it is not an easy task. Featured in the report is an opinion piece from Brendan O’Rourke, Head of Design at BriteBill on building a positive customer experience right from the start. He argues that the first months of a customer relationship are extremely important and set the tone for the future, but many CSPs fail to make the most of this crucial onboarding phase. Brendan recommends that CSPs should concentrate on establishing a positive relationship with their customers in the first 10, 30 and even 90 days of their contracts. If this is successfully done, customers will retain a positive impression that will take them beyond contract renewal time and, in turn, advocate their CSP throughout their period as a customer.

Download the full TM Forum report here.