The short answer to “what does a compelling experience look like?” is “a different one than what we are getting today.”
At a recent seminar in London, Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Services, revealed how the telecom sector is the UK’s worst of the 13 sectors her organisation scores. In 2016, telecom actually dropped below the utility sector, the perennial holder of the wooden spoon.
We recently completed a Customer Experience Spotlight 2016 global survey, talking to 7,000 consumers from 14 countries across the globe. The results show the scale of the threat hanging over traditional communication service providers. 73% of respondents said they would consider replacing their current service provider with companies such as Google, Apple or Facebook, if they were to offer wireless connectivity. For 27% of them, the switch could come in the next 12 months. Why? Because of their perception of poor customer service received from the current players – and, no doubt, the ramp up of publicity by Google around their Google Fi.
Digging further, it is remarkable how consumers take a holistic view of customer experience: the problem is not just with the call center (although it is the fourth reason for churn) or patchy connectivity or price (a price increase is, though, the number one reason for consumers to switch - mentioned by 61% of the respondents) or brand or self-service channels. Customers tell us a good (or a bad) experience is multidimensional: it is built upon all of these factors, simultaneously.
There is no silver bullet that will ensure loyalty, retention and recommendation. Asked what makes them stay with their current providers, 45% of consumers cited loyalty rewards. Close second, at 42%, was the ability to solve issues through self-service. 40% want to be able to modify their price plan without committing to a new contract.
What about reasons to recommend? Here again, there are multiple aspects which must be addressed at the same time: network quality is mentioned by 61% of consumers, brand and reputation by 59% and competitive pricing by 56%. As one of my former bosses at BT used to say: “an operator is not an 'or' company, it has to be an 'and' company.” To succeed, it needs to fix network performance and service innovation and price points and channels. Getting customer experience right is a question of aligning a lot of stars, all of the time.
Critically, consumers’ expectations do not stand still. When asked which attributes they most want service providers to improve over the next year, the overwhelming sentiment was to focus on personalization, innovation and responding to “my” needs. All these dimensions scored 30% or above. This is a useful guide. The question for services providers is how to achieve this over the next 12 months. Delivering tomorrow’s customer experience requires a step change in the pace of digital transformation.
Vincent Rousselet, Vice President, Market Insight & Strategy, Amdocs
With more than 20 years of strategic and operational global marketing experience predominantly in IT and telecommunications, Vincent Rousselet has worked with some of the world’s most recognizable organizations and brands, and now leads the entire Market Insight & Strategy group at Amdocs.
Vincent joined Amdocs after running his own consultancy where he helped organizations to understand and more effectively serve their customers through insightful research, decisive portfolio & solution planning, and comprehensive marketing execution. His recent clients include Orange Business Services, Arqiva, Capgemini, Thales and the European Commission. Vincent’s career also includes managing marketing at BT where he launched one of BT’s most successful B2B telephony packages (whilst growing the return on marketing investment), and Fujitsu, where he was responsible for developing and deploying the Japan-headquartered IT giant’s global strategic plans.
Published as part of BossFest16