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Raising the Telecom Customer Experience Bar

Published: November 3, 2015 | By: Lori Etheridge

In today’s crowded telecom market, customers have plenty of choices. As service and technology offerings have become virtually indistinguishable, the customer experience is increasingly becoming the primary differentiator for telecoms to attract and retain customers.

But improving telecom customer experience isn’t easy.

Traditionally, when contact centers want to improve the customer experience, they focus on changing processes and metrics. But too often, these changes come from an inside-out view – the company’s view out to the customer. More often than not, the contact center’s “inside-view” of the customer’s perception and experience is not reality.

Before deregulation, customers didn’t have the option to shop around. For a period following deregulation, customers maintained a relationship with their telecom company, staying loyal to their “phone company” and still not generally shopping around.

However, telecoms today are struggling to regain that lost relationship. Today, that means being viewed as a reliable source and trusted partner for all of their digital needs. But getting there has been a tough road.

A Crowded Marketplace

Deregulation opened the door for competition in the telecom industry. Then, with local number portability – which came into play in the late 1990’s – it became even easier for customers to change providers.

This increased competition and market saturation not only makes it easy for customers to change vendors, but there are lots of vendors to choose from.

In today’s market, most “new” telecom customers are really customers who are churning from somewhere else. This, coupled with the rising expectations of Millennials, who expect to communicate and get all of their entertainment and data from mobile devices, has made it even harder for companies to reengage and elevate customer relationship.

Raising the Bar

In Deloitte’s 2015 Global Contact Center Survey, customer experience is cited as the only real significant brand differentiator in an industry where technology and service are similar across all providers.

The survey included executives from 300 contact centers across 14 different industries. Of those surveyed, 85% said they view the customer experience provided through the contact center as a competitive differentiator (up from 62% in 2013).

So, what can contact centers do to raise the bar and transform the customer experience? The first and most important change is shifting the customer’s perceptions.

The telecom industry is unique in that it has a very profound impact on customers, who rely on service providers for everything from internet and phone service to data and entertainment. Lots of urgent needs are generated when customers need help or have questions.

Customers expect agents to be knowledgeable and respond quickly through multiple channels.

At the same time, most contact centers are studying lots of different kinds of data that may or may not be actionable (voice analytics, workforce management, etc.) and there is a lot of manual monitoring and reacting (moving agents between channels or VTO) when call volume, skill requirements or omni-channel demands unexpectedly spike or fall.

This complex situation makes it difficult for your frontline workforce to successfully deliver a revolutionary, transformative type of customer experience.

Intraday Automation

Intraday automation is so powerful because of the problem it solves within your frontline workforce. Being able to automate processes within the day – in real time – that convert idle time into productive time provides a foundation to change how service is delivered.

Today’s contact center processes are manual and too slow and cumbersome to effectively react – and by the time WFM can react, the situation has probably already changed again.

Intraday automation spans across all of the systems and data channels, enabling the real-time management of your frontline and back-office operations so agents can meet the demands of your customers and the business.

Customers are dynamic – their demands are dynamic – but the approach and workforces in the contact center have been siloed and static for too long.

Is your telecom contact center ready for this type of transformation? Can you afford to wait?

Contact us today to learn more about how our clients are leveraging intraday automation to automate contact center processes and transform the customer experience.

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