Telco Sector CX: Go from Churn to Earn (and even Yearn!)

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Did you know that the median NPS (Net Promoter Score) for telco was the lowest among all industries with customer retention rate in the bottom half of all benchmarked industries? (Source: Customer Gauge). Some more data on telco CX:

    1. State of Digital Customer Service Report 2020, (Source: Dimensional Research)
  • 59% of subscribers complained about receiving multiple answers to the same question across touchpoints or customer service reps
    2. Forrester survey on top customer service pain points 2015
  • 35% of consumers complained that contact center agents gave different answers for the same question and 35% said they didn’t even know the answer
    3. State of Agent Experience Report 2022 (Source: BenchmarkPortal)
  • 71% of contact center agents said that subscriber queries were getting more complex, yet 53% have no knowledge and AI guidance tools to solve these queries
  • 83% of these agents were remote at least part of the time with “no next cube” to go to for help

So, how can telcos turn customers from ranting detractors to raving fans, who even yearn for the experience they deliver, earn their loyalty and lower churn, and boost ARPU (Average Revenue Per User)? Interestingly, the above findings—1, 2, and 3—give us a roadmap to moving the needle on both CX and AX (agent experience) transformation. Here are the steps to take:

1. Digitalize the service

Accelerated by generational preferences and the pandemic lockdowns, consumers have doubled down on digital with 80% saying that they had increased the use of digital channels during the pandemic. Moreover, today’s digital customers want to go beyond checking website FAQs for customer service to accomplishing more complex tasks such as agent-assisted form-filling, remote troubleshooting, conversational problem resolution and contextual advice. This would require telcos to provide service through next-gen touchpoints like knowledge-backed chatbots and contact center agents and multimodal cobrowsing that is concurrent with phone call and chat, better in-app service, and proactive omnichannel notifications.

2. “Hub” the conversations

While self-service is getting increasingly smarter and more effective, there are still queries from digital-first shoppers that require human assistance over digital channels like messaging and chat and if all else fails, over the phone or in a store. If customer conversations are not all “hubbed” or unified into a single desktop, customer service agents will not have complete context. They then wind up asking the consumer to repeat information, a big no-no for good CX.

3. “Hub” the knowledge

Subscribers point to the lack of knowledge among agents and inconsistency of answers as the top deterrents to telco customer service, per the Dimensional Research survey, mentioned above. The cause? Inconsistent knowledge silos across the enterprise. The solution? An omnichannel knowledge hub with content management, conversational AI, generative AI, and analytics, all unified and orchestrated in one place. This approach will ensure that the knowledge—content, knowhow, and insights—is correct, consumable, compliant, and consistent.

4. Select the right solution partner

Technology matters as the world goes digital and AI. So do best practices and domain expertise. Make sure you pick a partner whose technology is proven and who has had success at scale in the telco sector, while being compliant with privacy and security standards. Also, does the vendor provide end-to-end services, including training/education, implementation, and managed services? Do they have a formalized customer success program? Do they offer risk-free production pilots—not just a toy sandbox—to try out their solution with expert guidance, all free of charge in the pilot phase. Vendors’ willingness to put real skin in the game shows their commitment to your success and confidence in their own solution.

Client success stories

  • North American telco giant seeking to maintain market leadership through superior customer service saw an increase in their customer value metrics combined with improved FCR (First-Contact Resolution) and a 17% reduction in call handle time (saving them $1.53 million in the first year of go-live). Their consolidated knowledge base provided consistent answers to questions in multiple languages, reduced the need to train agents, improved morale and productivity, and empowered agents to answer increasingly complex questions.
  • UK mobile operator giant achieved a 25-point improvement in NPS (Net Promoter Score) and a 35% improvement in FCR (First-Contact Resolution), while reducing agent time to competency by 50% across 30,000 contact center agents and 600 retail stores and enabling any agent to handle any call!

Final word

Prioritizing digitalization, unifying conversations and knowledge with omnichannel hubs, and working with a proven solution provider will enable telcos to get their customers to go from churn to earn and even yearn!

Anand Subramaniam
Anand Subramaniam is SVP Marketing for eGain Corporation, award-winning provider of cloud solutions for knowledge and AI-guided customer engagement

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