At the recent MVNO North America Congress in Dallas, Customer Experience Management (CEM) was a hot topic that was discussed in the panel discussions. Shaibal Datta, President & Managing Partner at Sigma Software pointed out that a majority of service providers agree that CEM is one of the key success factors given the commoditized product/service portfolios in the telecom industry. However, service providers and MVNOs face challenges on how to improve customer experience.
Creating a Customer Focused Company Culture
Tyler Leshney, President of Ultra Mobile said that a customer-focused culture can’t be created without building a solid foundation. The foundation lies in two main areas:
- Definition – Clearly defining who are your customers
- Mission – What is your central mission
Everything you do to improve customer experience should build on this foundation.
Proactive Customer Approach
Ken Schaffer, EVP Products at Ting shared their best practices on utilizing a proactive customer approach that Ting has empowered its support staff to do anything and everything necessary to solve customer complaints quickly. Ting’s customer care team collects customer feedback based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and shares all such constructive complaints with its product team for immediate and continuous improvement.
Embracing Social Media
One of the challenges is on how to embrace social media to provide a timely response to customers’ queries/issues. Diane Magers, Customer Experience Executive at AT&T explained how social media has been managed within AT&T in that its customer service team owns the social media channels, while Marketing also uses these channels to help in its decision-making process. It is significant not only to listen and respond to customers, but also to understand how customers conduct business through the social media channels.
With the high fragmentation and diversity of social messages, to find a balance in managing social media is challenging. Tyler emphasized that addressing the root cause of a complaint is much more critical than responding to every single question a customer ask. If you can solve the root cause of a problem, it may save you a lot of time in answering 50 similar complaints.
Ensuring a pleasant customer experience highly depends on to what degree internal employees, especially customer care team, have been taken care of. Many service providers and MVNOs have equipped employees with modern technology to facilitate the communication process, both internal and external. Here is a list of tools that are widely used to increase the productivity:
- Slack – real-time messaging and archiving and search for internal teams.
- Yammer – an enterprise social network to get work done faster.
- Delighted – gather customer feedback with Net Promoter Score in minutes.
- Zendesk – a web-based customer support and ticketing software.
- Salesforce – cloud-based customer relationship management software for distributed sales teams.
- Observe Big Data Analytics platform – to collect and store real-time structured and unstructured data for timely decision making.
The effective customer experience management requires simplicity. To design the business process and products as simple as possible allows customer care team to readily explain each product/service to customers. Troy Trybom, CIO North America at ACN gave an example from Amazon regarding its intuitive digital experience. However, Troy emphasized that simplicity is often not inexpensive or quick. Service providers and MVNOs should plan carefully and comprehensively taking into account many manual processes in the back office and the challenges of a tight budget.