Article by Alok Kulkarni, Cyara CEO and Co-Founder
Customers today have more and more control over how they choose to interact with their telco provider. With emerging technologies and solutions influencing and shaping the telco industry like never before, providers need to create great Customer Experience (CX) strategies that build loyalty and meet the demands of the digital economy.
In its annual 2016 report, The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) found that customer service is the second most complained-about issue to the TIO. 38.6% of respondents had issues with their customer service experience, including the lack of response to enquiries from their service provider.
Recently, the NBN announced that it will be launching a new ‘Tech Lab’, which it hopes will provide insights into pain points for customers on its network and help resolve faults sooner. This effort comes at a time where the telecommunications sector has become increasingly competitive, with even the likes of retail giants Aldi and Woolworths entering the market.
Maintaining a high standard of CX is now the key differentiating factor between industry leaders and laggards. As customers continue to interact and demand more from organisations through an increasing number of channels and platforms, investing in the right tools and resources to ensure seamless end-to-end CX will be the defining factor for success.
Telcos today are communicating with customers through a number of technologies that come together to form one journey across different channels. Given the ease in switching products and services, time-poor consumers are very unforgiving and will turn to competitors after experiencing Operational Customer Experience (OCX) failures.
As it is very difficult to understand a customer’s digital journey from the inside, organisations need to be investing in measurement tools that enable them to gain an outside-in perspective — to really find out where their CX is failing. But, how will providers know where they’re failing if they don’t ask customers?
By automating the measurement of digital CX channels, organisations can avoid having to involve customers in the feedback process, but still receive objective, accurate, and real-time insights into their CX at an operational level.
By measuring an organisation’s customer service technology using synthetic customer interactions, OCX can provide far more insight into the customer’s digital journey without any customer effort.
Optimising OCX systems and processes enables organisations to create flawless CX by removing negative experiences through proactively detecting failures that lead to customer dissatisfaction before they even happen.
This reduces the amount of revenue lost due to poor customer service experiences, increases loyalty, and ultimately provides brand assurance for organisations.
Prioritising OCX across every facet of an organisation provides CX assurance by allowing the free sharing of information, opening up opportunities for the relevant departments to execute a great customer experience. To achieve this, information must be available at the click of a button.
The overall perception of an organisation’s CX will be greatly improved through providing the customer service team with the tools to pre-empt a customer’s enquiry. For example, if a customer begins a conversation with a telco chatbot about their bill and the issue is not resolved, it is likely they will then call the support centre to seek further help.
If the support staff have easy access to each customer’s chatbot conversation history, they will be able to pre-empt that the customer is likely calling about an issue with their bill and can then easily pick up where the chatbot left off. To achieve this, each department and channel needs to have a holistic view of the customer available at any point in time in order to facilitate this exchange of information.
The race to deliver exceptional CX should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint. To win this race, organisations need to develop a strategy that raises the bar on the capabilities of their customer touchpoints to provide a seamless customer-centric journey. Automated measurement and data sharing will, therefore, be essential for telcos looking to set themselves apart in a noisy, competitive market.