The Continued Importance of the Art of Customer Service

Last week we explored the impact on telcos in the UK of the race to 5G dominance. As important as winning the 5G race is, the benefit of 5G dominance among UK telcos has the potential to be eroded by poor customer service.

Last week we explored the impact on telcos in the UK of the race to 5G dominance. As important as winning the 5G race is, the benefit of 5G dominance among UK telcos has the potential to be eroded by poor customer service.

In 2017, the Telecom's sector was responsible for the second highest number of consumer complaints in the UK, second only to the retail sector, according to the 2017 Customer Satisfaction survey. In this environment, and given that the volume of communications complaints has been rising year on year, Ofcom has stated that customer satisfaction is one of their top priorities for FY18/19. 

In May 2018, Ofcom conducted a survey to assess which broadband and phone companies are falling short in serving their customers. The survey highlighted that one in five of the UK's 24 million broadband customers are unsatisfied with their service, with frustration over slow internet speeds the most commonly cited issue. 

Under this greater scrutiny, the key question becomes how can UK network providers improve customer experience? As an example, in response to the May 2018 Ofcom survey, TalkTalk (who came last for customer service) announced that they have closed their call centres in India to move them onshore, introduced new online tools to help customers resolve issues quickly and conveniently, and will be launching new WiFi routers to strengthen network reliability. 

Although the importance of customer service is paramount, at the root of the issue is having the infrastructure to deliver the quality and speeds that customers demand, avoiding customer complaints in the first instance. In order to improve the level of customer service, our clients should make a top-down commitment to customer satisfaction, track customer related KPIs, resolve service issues faster and harness customer data effectively. Doing this will enable them to offer incentives, discounts, and cross-sell or upsell opportunities that truly resonate because they’re based on customers’ specific history and preferences.

Read part 3: New Business Models – How Do Our Clients Seek Revenue Elsewhere?

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Kevin Clarke Manager