Telecom Contact Centers Provide Customer Understanding
July 24, 2014
July 24, 2014
Big data has created big promises. But the data that can go beyond insights to understanding is no longer in traditional databases. It’s also not fully represented by monitoring online behavior. Rather, it’s being found in unstructured data, such as social media and input gathered from customer interactions in the contact center. With the ability to harness customer information in useful ways, telcos will find that they have the opportunity to grow customer relationships beyond connectivity to move up the value chain.
Holding telcos back is a focus on trying to quantify the value of knowing more about customers. With customers taking control of their relationships with brands and expectations for instant gratification growing, this is not the most constructive approach. As analyzing millions of customers in real-time is cost prohibitive, focus on use-case based scenarios that can be proven out. Based on the intimate relationship between the contact center and customers, analyzing call types is one example of a solid place to begin. Value can be realized by working with your contact center to use this analysis to prioritize issues and get to root cause. The resulting insights can be applied internally to improve customer experience, as well as to create better alignment when targeting cross and up-sell offers.
The market is moving quickly. By mining customer data for insights and diving deeper into customer service interactions to gain an understanding of context, decisions made about the customer experience can be improved in alignment with how customers use and value services. This type of comprehensive knowledge goes beyond data points to ensure that efforts made to differentiate your company are well received during the experiences your customers have with your telco.
Much of the customer information that telcos have is spread across data silos. While integrating those silos into a centralized repository of all subscribers to create a 360° view is a noble ambition, there’s no time to be spared. Based on the insights you pull from data related to customer experience in one area (e.g. web, branch locations), without validation, it’s very difficult to turn those insights into reliable interpretations that apply across channels. But, by comparing insights from data points against the voice of the customer gathered during one-to-one, personalized interactions in the contact center, it becomes possible to bridge the knowledge gap to get to a more reliable “true north.”
Customers expect 24/7 availability of the network and customer service. These expectations are largely set by their experiences in other verticals. With the perception that telco services and products are a commodity, there is little to stop them from changing vendors at the slightest dissatisfaction. This situation challenges telcos to find compelling ways to demonstrate consistently to their customers that they offer a more valuable service than competitors. Only by identifying, understanding and then responding to customer needs appropriately can this be accomplished.
While research indicates that fully integrated customer analytics have been delayed due to a focus on efficiency in telecoms, it’s predicted that analytics will come to fruition in several years. As stated above, telcos need to take action now as customers won’t wait for you to get up to speed to deliver an experience that delights them. Your contact center provider can help you with “verbatim,” real-world understanding of what customers want.
While data integration can help telcos to develop a full view of the customer, it’s wise not to forget that data is often gathered from a distance and may not be reflective of context. Research by Ovum finds that service personalization is among the top five priorities identified by telco CIOs. Aligning real-world observations from customers, expressed in their own words during issue resolution, can help to provide understanding that enables customer experience professionals to:
Customer analytics can illuminate patterns of product adoption, spending and other key customer identifiers, but it can’t tell you “the why.” Contact center providers with the expertise and technology to analyze inbound calls and customer interactions can actually make customer satisfaction a tangible metric. This methodology leads to a continuous process for improvement that enables use of the hypotheses to develop customer experience strategies. With this context it’s more likely that the telco customer experience will be designed to improve loyalty, profitability and customer lifetime value.
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