How Telecommunications Companies Can Improve Customer Experience and Loyalty

Build subscriber loyalty with a customer experience that stands out from the crowd.

man working in office customer experience team at a telecommunications brand

Telecommunications companies often get a bad rap when it comes to the customer experience. For example, polls from IpsosNetomiFonolo, and others find that consumers consistently rank the customer service at telcos as considerably worse than other industries. These trends continue, despite many calls among telecom industry leaders to improve the customer experience.

But why does CX matter so much? The customer retention and loyalty that result from good CX have a significant impact on the bottom-line. Experience has become the main differentiator across the board, and telecom companies have an opportunity to set themselves apart from the competition by responding to two key market trends: changes in subscriber loyalty as well as growing service wait times.

Subscriber loyalty has become increasingly fragile

Many telecom companies are experiencing incredibly high churn costs. One NYU study put the figure at $65 million per month, with companies in this industry also spending 15-20% of their budgets on customer retention and acquisition.

Cable companies are especially vulnerable, as the trend of “cord-cutting” (dropping cable entirely in favor of streaming services) shows no sign of slowing down. But other telcos, including ISPs and wireless carriers, are also feeling the pain of high churn rates.

Another study found that 39% of Americans canceled their subscription with a telecom company due to poor customer service, highlighting the importance of the service experience when it comes to retaining customers and building loyalty.

As phone hold times grow, other service channels are becoming more important.

According to a telecom industry analysis from TelecomTV, average call wait times are growing. Since phone remains one of the preferred ways for subscribers to contact their service providers, this leads to increased frustration and anger.

Alternative channels for customer service have also proved difficult, with only about half of telecom companies worldwide offering an easily accessible email address for service – and a shocking 65% of telcos ignore the customer emails they do receive!

Since the majority of consumers prefer to find their own answers, many telecom companies have understandably poured resources into their online portal and self-service experiences. But how do you know how well they are working?

Measuring how subscribers found the digital experience, if they could complete their task in the portal, whether their self-service inquiry was escalated to a human agent, or if their question was even in the self-service system… all of these data points are crucial to building and refining an experience that can successfully deflect contacts from the call center. Ultimately, to help bring down hold times while providing fast resolutions subscribers seek.

If they’re unable to get a quick resolution, regardless of whether they’ve emailed, called, or interacted with your website, many consumers turn to social media to vent their frustration. And this negative online word-of-mouth has a serious financial impact: people who viewed negative remarks on social media channels reduced their spending with that company by an average of 12%. But there is a much larger upside for companies that respond to social media posts and resolve the issue. The same study found that when a negative reviewer or commenter has a new, positive experience, their average spending increases 58%.

Astute helps telecom companies measure and enhance CX.

The current environment of the telco industry presents a unique opportunity to differentiate and win customers for life. At Astute, we work with iconic consumer brands all over the world to both measure and improve customer experience with a full suite of tools.

Automatically resolve incoming customer emails. Astute’s Email Virtual Assistant, EVA, reads inbound emails, infers the nature of the case, and generates a response based on machine learning from how your best agents have replied in the past. All that agents need to do is QA the response, and send. Customers get fast resolutions via email with drastically reduced effort on your team’s part.

Modernize your IVR with AI. Phone is still a popular channel with telco subscribers. Conversational AI can take what is often a frustrating, ineffectual experience for customers and agents alike, and turn it into a fast and effective way to resolve cases before they ever reach your call center team.

Identify urgent social posts and respond. With advanced social media monitoring and customer care tools, Astute makes it easy to identify subscribers who need help or are expressing frustration, and to follow up to recover. Responding quickly with helpful information can turn a negative experience into a positive one, and demonstrates in a very public way that you offer something different from the competition.

Let subscribers easily self-serve on your website, mobile app, and more. Astute’s AI-driven chatbot can assist subscribers with common tasks, such as paying a bill or setting up a new service, from your website, mobile app, and popular messaging apps. With a conversational interface that can interpret customers’ intent and help them with a variety of transactions, self-service bots deflect significant volume from your contact center.

Use Voice of the Customer data to improve CX and UX. From real-time task completion surveys to advanced sentiment analysis, Astute offers a range of VoC solutions to capture and analyze customer feedback and perceptions.

Improve call center efficiency by guiding agent interactions. With an award-winning agent desktop, Astute puts everything agents need to be both efficient and accurate right at their fingertips, from next best action suggestions to embedded knowledge base answers.

Let us show you how Astute can support your journey towards higher subscriber retention and increased profitability. Schedule a demo of our technology today.