Telecommunication industry: don't forget your customers

Telecommunications: Customer experience needs to be a priority

A new study by the consulting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper shows that CEOs in the telecommunications industry are optimistic. However, for their future plans what fields should be optimized and worked on, customer experience plays a surprisingly small role.

Study: innovation beats customer experience

What’s the number one priority for 43 surveyed CEOs this year? Price Waterhouse Cooper asked and received a surprising answer. Less than 10% think that the customer experience should be optimized first and foremost. However, innovation, digitalization and HR make up about 20% each.

This would lead to the conclusion that customer services and customer experience along the customer journey have no need for improvement. But considering the recent survey of the British Institute of Customer Service, at least in Great Britain, the industry is behind the competition. The telecommunication services rate is 72,9 out of 100 with 100 being highest customer satisfaction. In contrast to 71,7 last year it is on the rise. However, compared to other industries, telecommunication ranks last and is the industry with the highest complain rate (20%) with a national average across all industries of merely 12,5%.

How satisfied are German telecommunications customers?

But Great Britain is just one example. According to a 2015 survey by Bain (in German: PDF), German customers are growing more and more loyal. Especially “triple-pay-customers” – customers whose services include phone, TV and internet – are more loyal than customers who only use one service. But even this study shows: when customer needs are concerned, providers need to catch up.

Especially online support is oftentimes frustrating for customers who can’t navigate through the difficult self-service offers. Every second customer gives up and has to return to a call center agent or visit a local shop to get the help they need.

Another area for telecommunication companies  to advance in is the excellence of customer journeys. Few companies follow up on support issues and ask whether the problem has been solved. Even worse, customers usually don’t get any offers or additional services without  a rise in rates being involved. There are apparently no positive surprises in the world of telecommunication journeys.

But I don’t want to paint the wrong picture. At least in Germany, most customers are happy with their providers. 56% of all mobile customers even recommend the services to their friends and colleagues (with a whopping 40% conversion rate). But this number is closely tied to new customers. Obviously, the providers are capable to fulfill some expectations at the beginning but fail to do so over the long run.

Customer satisfaction is important but not the most important issue

In our customer journey management market survey (download it here), we found out that telecommunication providers placed customer journey amongst their top 5 topics in the next few years (more than 50% in contrast to an average of 38% across all industries). Customer experience evidently is an important topic but it competes with digitalization and innovation/disruption.

Diagramm: customer journeys in companies

Source: ec4u Customer Journey Management market survey 2016

We could assume that Price Waterhouse Cooper’s surveyed CEOs would have named customer experience eventually amongst their top 5 or even top 3 topics. It’s still confusing how an industry that is dependent on the satisfaction of customers is more focused on innovation, even though innovation – in the end – is only a means for customer satisfaction.

How do you define an ideal customer journey? And, why should you? In our guide, you learn everything from buyer personas, content mapping and why an omni-channel strategy is vital for your success.

Find out more

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