How Telcos Can Reduce Churn by Improving CX
The shift in daytime internet usage away from corporate office spaces to home offices placed a great deal of pressure on communications service providers (CSP) in the last year. In the average home, usage spiked from a few hours of evening entertainment to all day usage requiring good bandwidth and functionality. Telcos experienced a great deal of churn as unhappy customers sought out alternative service providers, hoping that these new deals would deliver better functionality and greater reliability.
Even before the pandemic, churn statistics in the telecommunications industry were alarming. 39% of Americans cancelled contracts within a 24-month period, and the majority (64%) cited ongoing negative experiences as the reason. Despite 61% of CSPs reaching out to try to retain those customers, these efforts failed—a case of too little, too late. This underlines the importance of having a positive, proactive CX strategy. Being reactive holds little weight with customers who already made the decisions to leave.
This trend highlights the importance of delivering a great customer experience (CX) and demonstrates that when CX fails, customers won’t hang around while companies figure out how to get better. It’s far too easy to see what competitors are offering and seek out a better deal online. Can optimizing for better CX prevent and reduce churn, and what should Telcos be focusing on to achieve this?
3 CX Trends in Telecommunications
Essential to improving CX is understanding customer needs by listening to the voice of the customer (VoC), as well as what the major trends are influencing customer experience. For existing customers, Telcos are fortunate to have a wealth of historical customer data based on usage and previous purchases. Leveraging this data can help generate more relevant and personalized customer experiences.
With existing customers, they don’t want to be the ones informing the CSP what contract they’re on or what their data usage needs are. If they have a question, they don’t want to have to start explaining the problem from the beginning each time they engage with the company. There’s the expectation that the company should already have this information and even a few options better aligned with their needs. And they do, but not all are leveraging it to increase the lifetime value of customers (LVC) or reduce churn.
If a customer is due for a mobile phone upgrade or they consistently exceed their data bundle, proactively engaging them with an offer is more likely to delight and get them to buy more now. Churn statistics support this with 40% indicating they may have changed their mind if they were offered a better plan, and 33% would have stayed if they believed the service would improve.
Simplified digital experience
The number of products, contract options and extras available can be overwhelming for customers. Rather than showcasing everything available, customers prefer to be presented with options that are relevant to their needs. This can be achieved for both existing customers and new website visitors who are browsing options by tracking how they respond to ideas presented on pages.
Optimization that includes the whole customer journey and aims to reduce the number of steps and simplify the process achieves better engagement with customers and results in more conversions. By contrast, complicated digital experiences cause friction that result in customers abandoning the process.
Consistent brand experience across all channels
Customers frequently switch between mobile, desktop or tablets and expect the brand experience to be consistent throughout. However, it’s not as simple as having a responsive website design. Optimizing for omnichannel entails identifying the most important elements to display and making the most of the space provided without causing friction. It requires careful strategy and an understanding of what’s important to customers.
On mobile they may want to check their data balance or billing. If they’re due for a contract upgrade, they may choose to browse on desktop because there’s more screen space to view and compare options. But equally, they may choose to start this process on mobile. Not optimizing for the mobile experience could result in churn, especially if customers find a competitor site much easier to navigate.
CX as a proactive strategy is proven to be one of the most effective ways to retain customers and reduce churn. In the highly competitive telecommunications industry, there’s little margin for error; customers want and expect good CX. If your company isn’t delivering that, customers will find a competitor who is.