TechBuddy takes a look at the reasons for poor CX and shows how telcos can flip the script to put their customers at the center of their business.
Any business worth their salt knows that the way you treat customers is integral to success. So, why do so many businesses get it wrong?
It starts with a matter of perception. Research shows that 80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, while only 8% of customers believe they receive excellent service.
Not only is there a real lack of positive customer experience (CX), but the reality points towards a sea of negative experiences. A staggering 77% of consumers say they are “fed up” with bad CX. This multisector problem is especially prominent amongst telcos, who pose the lowest average NPS (net promoter score) of any industry by a wide margin.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Leading companies are now focusing on personalization and using digital CX platforms to change the face of customer relations.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the underlying reasons for poor customer relations and find out how telcos can flip the script to put their customers at the center of their business.
Just one look at the data shows that CX is a big deal for telcos – perhaps more so than any other sector. Telco customer service queries make up over 78% of the top five overall customer service queries on Google.
Getting customer relations right isn’t the cherry on top. It is, in fact, an essential ingredient; particularly for telcos at a time when people are increasingly relying on the internet and communication services to stay connected with family and loved ones, as well as to work from home effectively.
Still, a recent report on the top 1000 global telecom providers shows that only 53% of telcos worldwide provide an easily accessible email address for customer interaction. The report also shows that, of those who do receive customer emails, 65% of telcos are unable to handle their sheer volume and reply.
While customers generally like to stick with companies they know, poor customer service means losing them to competitors who can provide a better customer experience. A massive 71% of consumers ended a business relationship due to poor customer service.
These numbers certainly paint a grim picture. But the reality is that telcos have the potential to excel when it comes to customer happiness. They first need to address the reasons behind the struggle to satisfy their customers.
One of the difficulties many telcos face is the overwhelming number of customers. A 2019 report shows that the global telecom services market was valued at an eye-watering $1.74 trillion. In Europe, one of the largest telcos – Deutsche Telekom – has 235.8 million customers worldwide. These kinds of figures highlight the monumental challenge of giving a personal, accurate service to such a high volume of customers.
For many companies, this is also coupled with a lack of infrastructure to deal with such a large customer base. Ironically, for a tech-based industry, many telcos lack the tools to manage such a high volume of customer interaction.
The complexity of dealing with a sea of customers has led to a CX service based on outsourcing to call centers. Evidently, this is an out-dated model that fails to meet consumer demand, as proven by the logistical challenges call centers face while handling a high volume of complaints. We’ve all had our share of bad call center experiences and, when you think about how far removed the staff is from the viewpoint of the customer, it comes as no surprise.
A recent study shows that only 4% of telcos showed empathy regarding their customers’ personal struggles during COVID-19. In an age when making a real human connection matters more than ever, telcos need to find new ways to build a personal relationship with their customers.
One way to deal with satisfying a huge customer base is to leave it to the bots. With the rise of machine-learning technology, using chatbots has had a big impact on CX.
Modern chatbots can be programmed to answer simple customer service queries using existing information. They can even be tweaked for tone, to ensure they act as an extension of the brand and use the right language to please the customer.
Chatbots are now incredibly easy to set up and cost-efficient to run. Perhaps most importantly, they are available 24/7 and can solve minor customer problems in an instant. This is a huge improvement on a system that takes days to respond to an email, for instance, or where a customer is passed from person to person when phoning a customer helpline. In an age where people expect quick and simple solutions, chatbots have come into their own.
Still, while chatbots can deal with a large volume of simple customer queries, they fail to provide customers with that personal relationship and the specialized answers they demand. Ideal as a first point of contact, they fall short when it comes to dealing with more detailed issues, which can often create frustration for customers. And while they may have simple customer service covered – turning a -1 to a zero, they aren’t able to fulfill customer success – turning a -1 to a +10. At least not yet.
Whether it’s a personalized service that captures the hearts and minds of customers or a complete overhaul of a field service management system with detailed feedback and analytics, it’s clear that there are better ways to address the needs of modern consumers than the outdated methods of days gone by.
Here’s how TechBuddy can help telcos deliver a new experience for their customers.
Netomi’s recent Customer Service Benchmark report found that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences.
For some telcos, allowing a dedicated provider to manage CX makes sense; and that’s where TechBuddy comes in. Acting as the extended arm of telcos, our Buddies deliver a level of expert customer care that can only be achieved via personal interaction, solving problems directly in the homes of customers.
It’s not all about solving problems – a CX solution like TechBuddy provides extra value to the customer. Having TechBuddy’s service bundled with the purchase of a new mesh WiFi system, for example, means not only installation and setup of the router and mesh points, but also a consultation of how they can get optimal signal and coverage in their home.
Buddies can also provide a walkthrough guide to any brand new purchase – a type of customer ‘onboarding’ where the customer learns about the different features of their devices and which helps to build brand value for customers.
This personalized ‘in-home’ service also opens up the door to more effective ‘cross-selling’ – recommending complementary products. This brings even more value for the customer and increasing sales for the company – a McKinsey study found that cross-selling increases sales by 20% and profits by 30%.
A study by Sitecore found that 44% of companies believe that failing to modernize service systems is the biggest obstacle to good CX.
Having an efficient system is crucial and, for telcos who use their own technicians but need help developing an organized infrastructure, a customer onsite support platform can be invaluable. Buddy.inc brings everything under one roof, offering an out-of-the-box solution that gives telcos complete control of UX.
A central dashboard acts like a CX management cockpit, where telcos can communicate directly with their service technicians. It’s a plug-and-play tool for the CX front-end, from bookings, tasks, payments, and callouts for installation to maintenance and service repair.
With Buddy.inc, telcos can deliver effective onsite services by tracking requests, managing personnel, and maintaining visibility into operations. They can better understand how a service has been delivered, and how customers evaluate the service to give them the best possible customer experience.
It acts as an analytical tool, where KPIs are set by service/task, customer, technician, resolution times, region, or customer satisfaction, to enable telcos to optimize customer success, increasing NPS scores and retention rates exponentially. Buddy.inc doesn’t just tell you if a job has been completed successfully, but tells you how it was completed and provides precise insights on your technicians.
Through field service automation, the platform takes the manual work out of office tasks like scheduling, dispatching, and skill matching and therefore allows companies to offer customer services at scale and nationwide.
In 2021, customer success is the driving force of a good business. So, now’s the time for telcos to get on-board and adapt to a new way of thinking about the customer.
Do you want to find out more about BuddyCompany’s personalized service and end-to-end customer support platform? Contact us here or book a demo to walk you through the Buddy.inc platform today!