By Erin Harrison
In this day in age, no matter what business you are in, the customer is king.
As we touched on last week (and commands further attention), European telecom operators are not cutting it when it comes to delivering a stellar – or even an adequate – customer experience. This weakened Quality of Experience (QoE) tendency is forcing tech-savvy consumers to side with the company that is most responsive to their communications needs and not necessarily the one that offers a specific kind of service.
Typically consumers base their requirements on the strength, speed and coverage of their network, the depth and breadth of their product and services portfolio and, least of all, price. But this is the case no longer.
A recent study conducted in EMEA by European Communications – the results of which appear in a recent special edition, “Customer Experience” – found overwhelmingly that telecom operators are losing their edge when it comes to QoE. Alarmingly, only17 percent of operators say they have a 360-degree view of their customers.
Most important, in a subsequent interview with Ben Geller, senior director of marketing at Alcatel-Lucent, he said the study reveals that the main differentiator between telecom operators these days is found not in the services offered but the customer experience overall.
“The real differentiator [between companies] has ultimately become the customer experience offered,” said Geller. “The days of customer acquisition are largely gone. Markets are pretty much saturated and essentially, the strategy has become one that is not based on grabbing market share, but rather, on retaining market share and getting more value out of the customers that you already have.”
That means even if even if network service is consistently reliable, a bad experience or interaction can have major impact, including lost revenue from the customers that switch to another operator, which lowers customer lifetime value (CLV) and the sets forth an inability to monetize service portfolios.
In fact, more than 70 percent of consumers are willing to spend 10 percent or more with businesses that exceed their expectations, but when customers are dissatisfied, their likelihood of churning increases by a factor of 10, according to statistics from Alcatel-Lucent.
In line with the findings and the need to take a more holistic view, Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) offers Motive Customer Experience Management solutions that can help service providers make a good impression by getting it right the first time.
Using Motive CXM solutions, service providers can:
- Improve the order to activation ratio
- Reduce the number of calls that come through to the help desk
- Reduce average handle time and increase first call resolutions for tech support inquires
- Reduce the number of no-defect-found device returns
Those service providers with good QoE are able to reduce their support costs and ultimately improve their bottom line. However, it is imperative to keep in mind there is no one-size-fits-all solution or prescribed path to improve QoE, Geller noted.
“Every provider has their own unique set of problems they are trying to solve,” he said. “Some [operators] are going to want to start with better monetizing the assets that they have…others might want to be able to minimize the number of incoming calls for tech support, while others, still, will have no idea where they want to start.”