CSP Customer Experience: Relationship Building In a Pandemic
Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are starting to feel the crunch when it comes to attracting new customers in the new normal that is COVID consumerism. Now is the time to switch from the hunting cycle of aggressive, short-term promotions aimed at winning new clients, and focus on building better consumer-centric relationships with existing clients.
Five ways that Communication Service Providers can focus on customer relationship building:
With global smartphone sales down as much as 38% year over year according to a Strategy Analytics report, we are seeing proof that consumer’s buying habits are changing. Convincing people to switch providers is no longer going to be about who can offer the best deal for a 2-year contract, CSPs are going to need to re-focus their marketing and business strategy efforts and switch to a long-term mindset.
By taking the focus off of constantly chasing new sign-ups, Telcos would be well-advised to focus on building better, stronger relationships with their existing customers. After all, it is well-known that it costs less money to keep an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one. But how do communication service providers go about changing old habits and acquiring new ones that will keep their long term customers happy and maximize the lifetime value of those customers?
Reward customer loyalty
Customers who have been with the company the longest should reap the rewards of new offers and the newest technology, not just people who are leaving other companies and signing new contracts. There is nothing that upsets a long-time customer more than hearing about a great sales promotion only to read “new activations only” in the fine print. By offering the same value to existing and long-term clients, CSPs have the opportunity to retain their customer base, as well as maximize the lifetime value of the account.
Also, the marketing and related costs to retaining a client, versus searching for and winning a new one, are considerably less for communication providers looking to find ways to save in the face of reduced consumer spending. These savings can then be put back into the business to help implement the new technology and infrastructure that will keep the customer with the organization in the future.
Understand customer segments and their value
Identifying customer segments and assigning their value to the business is another way that communication service providers can also better understand how their customer relationship affects their bottom line. By understanding the value that each customer segment is worth to the organization, CSPs can start to appreciate long-term customers as business assets and find ways to make those segments feel valued. Developing an accurate view of each segments’ lifetime value beyond traditional segmentation will help identify areas of opportunity for improvement, not only in the customer experience arena but within other areas of the business as well.
Telecommunications companies that are willing to spend the time now to properly assess and redefine their customer analysis, and continue to re-visit their customer segments regularly, will emerge stronger and more capable of retaining their customer base post-pandemic.
Tailor products and services to each customer group’s value
Once providers have performed in-depth customer analysis and have assigned value to their customer groups, the next step is knowing what it will take to successfully serve each customer group. Defining the products and services by customer group in mind will help determine the amount of time and resources the company should dedicate to retaining each group during this pandemic, and which groups should be targeted when the retail situation stabilizes.
Companies that are designing products and customer-service plans tailored to each customer group, giving each one the technology, value, and service they are searching for in an easy-to-understand format, will be the companies that gain market share post-pandemic. Real growth will be further realized by organizations that can then take those customized products and services and viably scale those plans across their customer base.
Invest in providing simple, digital customer experiences
With many retail outlets struggling to re-open, and possibly stay open, now is the time for Telcos to spend time and effort into improving the digital customer experience. There are a few ways to immediately improve the digital customer experience and increase customer approval rates:
- Improve online buying journey: from beginning to end, the online buying experience should be simple and easy to understand. Make sure that all bundling options and contracts are concise and clear.
- Use AI and automation to improve customer service levels: by implementing artificial intelligence into the customer service channel, Telecom providers can provide an intuitive and interactive customer service experience using chatbots. This will shorten call wait times and improve customer perception.
- Make new activations simple and easy: look at the current processes in place for new activations and find areas where automation can streamline the process. By making new activations easier, sales teams can help more customers get online, faster.
Focus on speed-to-market with new digital solutions
In some cases, the improvement of the digital customer experience will require an overhaul of the Telecommunications commerce engine altogether and ignite the need for an experienced technology partner. CSPs will be looking to find an experienced partner that can bring the technical solutions they need to market in months, rather than years.
Acro Media has a deep understanding of the pains and competitive pressures that our Telecommunications partners face inside, and outside, of their organizations. We have developed a proven success framework for CSP's that increases speed to market, resulting in increased product margins, sales volumes, and overall market share.