If your business is looking for a competitive advantage, customer experience and customer loyalty will give you it. Customer loyalty drives growth and profitability. According to the Customer 2020 report, in the coming years, customer experience will only continue to grow in importance for businesses.
The European telecom industry is growing increasingly competitive, and one of the things that will differentiate companies from each other is customer experience. Finding ways to innovate customer service—such as implementing crowdsourced service—means putting a stop to viewing customer support as merely a cost center. This is how providing a great customer experience will impact your business in a positive way.
Costs, Savings, and Investment
It should be a priority for telecoms to provide a better customer experience since customer retention is cheaper than finding new clients. In fact, it is seven times more expensive to gain a new customer than retain an existing one.
Companies are investing more money into customer experience; Call Center IQ’s 2014 Report states that 68% of businesses plan to increase their customer management spend. However, companies should look for a balance of efficiency and effectiveness in their customer-centric investments. Also, it is important to weigh the costs of implementing another customer service channel as Adrian Swinscoe argues in a recent post on Forbes.
According to the Customer Experience in Telecoms European Summit, there are five ways to morph customer experience into a growth generator including: leveraging your employees, investing in tools that better serve the customer (such as online communities and live chat), creating a service-oriented culture, and making service part of your brand.
Understanding Customer Preferences and Challenges
Finding a way to understand what telecom customers want and expect will help drive your company’s growth. In Accenture’s 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey, they found that because of bad customer service, 62% of global consumers had changed service providers. Up to 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
Thanks to mobile devices, customers now expect their experience with a company to extend across all channels, and they want that experience to be a great one. Telephones are still the primary way customers reach out for help. However, when they do call, 50% get lost in automated systems, while 72% prefer to speak to a live person. Trailing behind phone-based communication, customers like to use email or websites, and web chats to interact with customer service agents. And while text messaging is growing in popularity as a communication tool, only 1% of people prefer to use it for engaging with customer service. Still, one way to assist customers immediately and get them in contact with real people is to offer the option of in-person help provided by nearby experts. As mentioned in Forbes, real-time service provided by locals enhances customer experience. And that’s a win-win.