Modern customers only expect the best. And with the pandemic leading to a lot of disruption, it’s become even more important for telcos to stay focused on continuously improving customer satisfaction and ensure a great experience is provided across various touchpoints.
Take a step back and assess whether your organization is letting customers down. Here are 5 things to steer clear of. If you find that some items hold true for your organization, then consider data science to help reduce inefficiencies and provide engaging, meaningful, and better experiences for your customers.
1. Your customers are having difficulties reaching you.
When your customers fail to connect to a representative or even experience long call waiting times, they will inevitably get frustrated. For telcos, ensuring the availability of representatives or technicians to assist customers is a challenge which has become even more difficult to manage this year. In fact, call volume has seen an 800% increase during the pandemic compared to the normal levels.
To make sure there are enough agents to handle a high call volume, incorporate forecasting in your capacity planning. This involves utilizing predictive analytics and statistical modeling to identify specific time periods when there is likely to be a higher inbound call volume.
Consider these when making decisions about agent start times, end times, and break times. With the right staffing and scheduling decisions, you will not only improve your customer experience, but impact employee satisfaction as well.
2. Your customers’ problems aren’t being solved.
Perhaps just as frustrating as waiting for someone to talk to is being on the line with someone who isn’t qualified to solve your problem. This can happen in brick-and-mortar stores as well. A customer may walk in and need details or even a demo about products but be left with more questions. These scenarios can significantly drive down your customer experience.
Related: Proactive customer care in the telecom industry
To make sure that the right people are available to assist customers, it’s best to look at the numbers. For example, in call centers, there are two metrics that are used to gauge agent performance: first-call resolution rate (FCR) and average handling time (AHT). The more qualified the representative, the lower the AHT and the higher the FCR.
Take this a step further through advanced analytics. Use common machine learning algorithms to determine factors that drive up or drive down key metrics and use these insights to streamline processes and inspire confidence in your staff.
3. Your customers can’t purchase the products or services they need.
One of the biggest things you can do to improve your customers’ experience is to meet their expectations and demands. This involves knowing what products or services they may need and when they need it. Knowing when to upsell or cross-sell is key. However, it’s important to remember that customer expectations, needs, and demands can change overnight.
In fact, COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the consumer landscape, with shopping habits and preferences changing almost overnight. For example, online shopping has increased by 53%, with people spending more time at home.
To meet and anticipate customer needs, use demand forecasting algorithms to identify trends and make optimal production and inventory decisions. The use of data analytics in telecommunications will help you prepare for sudden changes in demand plus reduce wastage—stocking just enough and just in time.
4. Your employees can’t access information about your customers.
When you have a returning customer on a call or visiting your store, it’s likely that they’ve already given you some information about themselves in a past interaction. If you can’t pull up these details when needed (or worse, ask for it again), the customer might get annoyed or impatient.
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This is why it’s important to have a golden record of the customer—a unified view that captures all the things you need to know about the customer or client. So, when they ask for details about their mobile phone plan, your agents can quickly provide answers or even offer an upgrade.
Create this single source of truth through data warehousing and master data management. Integrate data sources from the different departments and systems across your organization into a central repository to provide a holistic view.
5. Your customers feel like their complaints aren’t being heard.
One surefire way to worsen your customer service in telecom is ignoring your customers. They might walk into your store without being engaged by employees. They might mention you on social media and not get any responses. Or, like the example above, they might try to call and reach a busy line.
Having multiple touchpoints for customers is a good thing, but make sure that the messages you do receive are being put to good use. Aside from promptly responding and providing the information requested, you should consider monitoring overall customer feedback through text and sentiment analysis.
This involves natural language processing that looks at social media reviews, email messages, IVR communication, and other textual information to determine what your customers think about your company, products, and offerings. Negative sentiments can help you determine areas for improvement, while positive sentiments can help you identify potential brand advocates.
Create a better experience through data science
Your customers are the lifeblood of your organization, so their satisfaction should be one of your prime priorities. By leveraging telecom analytics—business intelligence, advanced analytics, and data management—you can improve your customer-facing process, empower support staff, and provide great experiences to your customers and clients.