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The Cost of “Good Enough” Customer Support

Telecoms are working hard to make advances in products and network coverage to stave off advances by OTT vendors, such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft. But, if the investment you’re making in customer support and customer experience isn’t moving the needle, all those advances in products and infrastructure may not be paying off to their true potential.
Today’s telecom customers are finicky. They’re highly demanding and influenced by social conversational swells that occur over new handsets, applications and network services. They’ll jump from one carrier to another to get the latest and greatest without much hesitation. It takes a stellar experience across the customer lifecycle to keep them engaged and affiliated with your company. This means that the ability to evolve your customer care and support services plays a critical role in the longevity and lifetime value of your customers.
By the same token, change is challenging. It’s hard to face the perceived disruption and Telco providers are already under the gun to shift business models, so the idea of taking on more can make you freeze like a deer in headlights. You stop and evaluate your latest customer support reports, KPIs and metrics and think, well, that’s not too bad. It’s good enough. Then you tell yourself that support is moving in the right direction and there’s no sense in fixing what’s not broken.

What’s “Good Enough” is Already Broken

“Good enough” is barely table stakes. It’s a sign that either customer spending will flat line or that attrition will escalate. Take for example the reality that most of your unhappy customers will never complain, but they’ll be the first to leave when a competitor catches their eye—never to return. Considering that support and service is one of the few things left to differentiate a Telecom company, is it really wise to rely on “good enough” support because you’re too busy or you think it’s too expensive to change or your resources are limited?
Here’s an idea: Put the weight of change onto your new contact center vendor. Instead of holding onto what you have and hoping that doing the same thing will produce different results, consider how you can build in change to your new vendor relationship.
Challenge the contact center vendor you’re considering to:

  • Show you how a migration would work with limited disruption to customer support
  • Demonstrate how they intend to establish an environment for continuous process improvement so that you’ll never face “good enough” again
  • Define the resources and effort required from your side and how they will help you through it
  • Coordinate the transition with the outgoing vendor
  • Produce support interactions that create happier and “stickier” customers
  • Tie support initiatives to business objectives to improve your contribution to outcomes
  • Increase customer lifetime value with cross and up sell offers that work seamlessly with inbound support calls
  • Prove to you that they’ve done all of this successfully before

Get Payoffs from Changing Contact Center Vendors

One thing you must do when considering a new contact center vendor relationship is to determine the impacts of the change that will make it worthwhile. Some questions to answer include:

  • What levels of increase do I need in CSAT, NPS, or Customer Effort Scores to justify the change?
  • How much up and cross sell revenues do we need to offset or show contribution to business objectives?
  • What else could the vendor offer that would provide value beyond our current provider?

The one thing you should never do when facing “good enough” customer support is to stick with it and hope for improvements to materialize. In today’s environment of rapid change, standing still is just not an option. The opportunity to improve customer-facing interactions and experiences is critical to the sustainability, health and brand reputation of your telecom. Your customers will stand for nothing less.