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Despite a turbulent economy, telecoms firms can still proactively target growth in 2023, showing the resilience to deliver the best possible experiences to customers and employees alike.
The telecoms industry is facing the greatest threat to brand reputation this decade, and the sands are about to shift.
The threat of inflation is slowly dimming, even if we will still see increases over the coming months – telecoms prices went up in April 2023 by an average of 14.4%. Nevertheless, Ofcom said it was “concerned about the degree of uncertainty consumers face about future price rises”. Indeed, the regulator found that around a third of mobile and broadband customers do not know whether their provider will increase their tariff. This against a backdrop of electricity prices in the UK rising by 66.7% and gas prices by 129% in the year to November 2022.
According to research from Qualtrics and ServiceNow, 80% of consumers are willing to switch providers – not only as a result of price hikes, but also due to having had a poor customer experience. With ever-changing and increasing customer demands, delivering an excellent customer experience strategy is harder than ever.
As businesses deal with economic disruption, they have to seek out visionary ways to protect and create value. The operators facing huge brand repercussions due to the eye-watering price rises face the biggest challenges, and the ones that act boldly will emerge as the winners.
Seven crucial telecoms customer experience tactics for 2023
1. Understand your customers’ financial, emotional and physical challenges with assisted customer conversations
Firms can deliver empathetic customer experience (CX) through assisted customer conversations. Not just hearing but truly listening. This technology can help you to serve your customers better through real-time voice analysis and digital interactions, augmenting conversations by turning this analysis into unique insights, prompts and recommended actions to the call centre agent. This enables teams to give personalised, helpful guidance to callers first time, every time.
The technology monitors calls, analyses them and gives the agents feedback in real time. It identifies the best solution to the incoming query, leaving the agent free to really listen to the caller and help them more quickly and effectively.
And the built-in intelligent analytics provides valuable insights that allow you to continually improve the service and meet your objectives – whether that’s reducing churn, ensuring regulatory compliance or identifying vulnerability – all while providing excellent customer service.
2. AR and VR can help customers help themselves
Customers have more and more control over how they choose to interact with their telecom provider, and according to Zendesk, 69% want to resolve as many issues as possible on their own through self-service. People also want to find the answers and information they’re looking for on their own terms, in their own time and via their preferred channel.
According to London Dynamics, nearly 90% of companies compete on the basis of CX. But while 80% think they deliver superior CX, just 8% of their customers agree. Building immersive experiences in 3D provides customers with unique and engaging product experiences right on your website by embedding 3D assets into your product pages. London Dynamics also found a 40% decrease in product returns with 3D visualisation, and 56%% of shoppers agree that AR gives them more confidence about product quality online, with three in four willing to pay more for a product they can see in 3D.
3. Make messaging your go-to CX channel
When it comes to handling customer enquiries, messaging delivers speed, efficiency and results other channels just can’t match. The technology enables quicker and better customer experiences, allows associates to service multiple customers concurrently, reduces wait times, and drives more conversions – all while reducing costs.
According to a survey conducted by Avochado, 72% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a company that communicates with them about their products in real-time, with a real employee, via messaging.
4. Don’t be afraid to get personal
When customers contact your brand, they want to feel that you know them. How long they’ve been customers, their purchase history, any past issues they’ve had – and how they prefer to interact with you.
Truly understanding your customers’ journeys and using them to proactively guide interactions gives your company a strong competitive advantage. It’s been found in a survey from McKinsey that 5-15% revenue growth can by driven by personalisation at scale for brands in the retail, travel, entertainment, telecom, and financial services industries.
5. Embrace digital-first, or come in last
Consumers are turning to digital more than ever, including smart-home devices and wearable tech like smartwatches, which means a digital-first approach is essential for all brands.
Companies that haven’t mastered digital will be left behind by the competition. Striking the right balance of automation and people to deliver frictionless digital experiences will be critical to brands’ success. After all, according to Zippia, companies with digital-first strategies are 64% more likely than their competitors to achieve their business goals.
6. Know what it takes to attract and retain top talent
As the war for talent wages on, contact centres must go to new lengths to attract a high-quality workforce. Flexible schedules, including the ability to work remotely or in a hybrid format, will play an important role in landing top talent, as will competitive pay, benefits, and perks.
According to ICMI, contact centres are experiencing turnover rates of 58% and over, presenting a continual demand for new employees. However, it’s important to note that depending on the outsourcer, attrition can be far higher than an in-house alternative.
7. Give employees reasons to stay
According to a UK study carried out by PWC, specialised training empowers workers, with 49% of respondents saying that their job requires specialised training.
Employee burnout is a real issue, and continually hiring and training new workers is much more costly than retaining the ones you have. Investing in upskilling and training is more important than ever when it comes to keeping employees engaged in their work. Also, be sure to recognise top performers to prevent complacency and burnout.
Benefits of using assisted customer conversations:
increase in-call productivity for an insurance company, using speech analysis alone.
Average call time reduced by 20 seconds
increase in sales for a telecoms company, converting hesitant customers using outcomes insight
more successful in identifying at-risk customers for a client
Business Development Director, Capita Experience
Rob is the sector lead for Capita on the Telco, Media and Consumer Electronics markets. With over 20 years experience in the BPO and outsourced services industry, he has gained a significant insight into the evolving customer experience and the ever-changing BPO offerings. His focus is on solving business problems – ensuring that Capita remains relevant to clients and their needs.
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Telecoms, media & tech
Telecoms, media & tech
Telecoms, media & tech
Telecoms, media & tech