Love on the Line. How Telco Should Focus on Relationships to Change the Game - Conversity
Customer Experience, Customer Service, Telco

Love on the Line. How Telco Should Focus on Relationships to Change the Game

The Telco industry has been connecting people from day one. But the advent of technology, the shift in consumer behaviour and the ever-changing rules of engagement are all causing challenges never seen before in Telco.

At Conversity, we’re big believers that the solutions to these challenges lie in forging authentic and well-founded relationships across every business touch point. Below we show you the three relationships we believe every telecommunications business needs to focus on in order to get things right with the most important caller, the customer.

The Relationship Between Customer and Connectivity

The ‘connected customer’ has been the subject of a number of our posts recently, and its growing importance in how businesses speak and act on a daily basis is unrelenting. In the Telco industry this is no different, and as the people providing that very connectivity, there’s power and profit to be had in controlling what you’ve supplied. Rather than focusing on handsets and packages, we’re looking at how your customers are using their greater connected selves to help each other every step of the customer journey and how telco needs to challenge the traditional role of customer care to accomplish positive results.

Peer-to-peer recommendations and support is a natural by-product of greater connectivity, and there are clear signs of it revolutionising how customers see brands and businesses. In widely shared polls on the subject, it has been said that 90% of users trust peer recommendation compared to only 33% who trust ads. This in itself shouldn’t come as a surprise, it stands to reason that when you are looking for a referral or need a good service or a good deal that you turn to your peers, your friends, and your acquaintances. Consumers are smart, they’re savvy and they’re social. It’s up to you to set the precedent for conversations that go on far beyond your physical store or contact centre. Managing customer sentiment will be the difference between seeing new customers and retaining existing ones in the future – or not. Being aware of the peer-to-peer service model has the ability to improve every part of your business.

The Relationship Between Customer and Call Centre

The call centre has long since been a central point in a business-to-customer relationship. Once upon a time, it would have been the single exchange for some businesses. However, with the coming of the digital revolution, social media and digital services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) have changed all that. Call centre (or contact centres as they’re more likely to be known in this onmichannel world) are under increasing pressure to implement technology that brings them inline with physical in store communications and beyond.

The move to an omnichannel contact centre is still in its infancy for many Telco businesses, but it is being driven by guided sales technology platforms such as Conversity’s platform, which allow businesses to link up in store, online and call centre.

Telco companies who put in place the technology to support customers and agents and who recognise the positive outcomes that come with aggregating multiple customer touch points into a seamless, single guided sales system are already building a better relationship with customers. Connecting in store, online and contact centre conversations builds an invaluable 360 degree view of the customer and any interaction they may already have with their business. It enables personalisation, and a quick, pain free recall of where the customer is in the sales journey. This sort of omnichannel integration is the real future of Telco.

The Relationship Between Advocates, Apathetics and Antagonists

Advocacy has been a key theme through recent Conversity blogs, and with good reason. Inspiring the ‘a’ word continues to be central to work we do for clients including those in the telco industry.

In 2010, an IBM study found that the average proportion of advocates in the telecommunications industry was low. Peer-to-peer provider recommendations were losing ground to apathetic customers not loyal to a single provider and antagonists who actively sought to speak badly of providers failing to meet their needs. This was bad news operationally, as we know apathetic and antagonist groups spend less and cost more in support services, and financially – as we know – unsatisfied customers are ready to move to a competitor without a moment’s hesitation.

Fortunately this has begun to change in the years since. However, the rise in connectivity continues to challenge Telco brands to be consistently prepared to build advocacy, manage apathy and firefight antagonism. To do this, Conversity urges clients to take the time to understand what really drives a customer, whether that’s what drives them to seek out your service or what drives them to buy a certain product at a certain time.

Nuances, behavioural signs, emotions, tone of voice, level of agreement (or disagreement) to your business will all help you determine how best to serve a customer and how you interpret these signals and act on them will be the difference between creating advocates and creating antagonists.

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For the Telco industry – and others – to change in an ever-evolving world, they must keep an ever-roving eye on customer relationships. How a business speaks to its customers and the importance of keeping them on side hasn’t changed, but the behaviours or technology use has. From a concept that never really existed, customers now expect to be escorted through every touch point of your service with ease, clarity and visual excellence, CX has gone from full metal jacket to pipe and slippers. Using IGS can help businesses take a step closer to customer advocacy at every touch point. Build a lead online and nurture in-store, start a purchase in-store or finish via a call centre, take every step with the customer and anticipate their next one to ensure your business can win the race in service and retention.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts,

Dave.

Vina Vadgama - Profile