With the threat of auto-compensation looming, it’s never been so important to get the customer experience right for broadband and landline suppliers. Maru/edr’s Technology, Media and Telecoms specialist Melanie Lewis explores how engaged colleagues can help develop processes that work for customers and businesses alike.
We’ve all been there; waiting at home for an engineer’s visit to install or fix our landline or broadband connection. You may have taken the day off and if not, you have definitely organised your whereabouts around the promised arrival of a stranger with the ‘magical’ power to (re)connect you with the wider world.
For most of us, our patience is rewarded with working landline or internet connection and a return to the 21st century. Unfortunately for some, the wait continues, the frustration builds and a resolution seems ever so far away.
According to Ofcom, there have been over seven million instances where customers have been let down by their landline or broadband provider through delays to installation or repairs and missed appointments. To date, a total of £16.3million in compensation has been paid out in just over one million of these cases. Ofcom has recently outlined plans to automate the compensation process which would mean up to two and a half million additional landline and broadband customers could receive up to £185million in new compensation payments each year.
There is no doubt that these are big numbers and should help to focus businesses attention on improving processes and the customer experience.
But this is only half the story
“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works” – Douglas Adams, Author.
With connectivity forming an essential aspect of modern life, even a short period of ‘downtime’ can have a huge, and often highly emotional, impact on customer’s experiences.
Those on the front line of customer care will know only too well about the consequences of failures in the connection or repair process. A close friend recently compared her week-long loss of internet to an apocalyptic event – an experience which resulted in multiple calls to her supplier every day to eventually reach a resolution.
Comparing a lack of connectivity to the end of the world may be little dramatic but certainly illustrates the high value placed on this service.
Maru/edr’s Customer Service benchmark shows despite increased focus on offering alternative means of contact, 36% customers still prefer to call their supplier as a means of escalating complaints.
And so, delays and missed appointments have the potential to spark a ‘perfect storm’ within the Telecoms sector. Fuelled by automatic compensation, the cost of customer contact and ultimately the loss of revenue from frustrated customers changing supplier, the risk of not getting it right is very real and not to be ignored.
Developing a customer experience that delights and delivers return
The good news is that most businesses already have a super-power which should be cultivated, consulted and channelled to help make a real difference to customers; staff and colleagues.
Engaging colleagues at all levels to help map customer journeys and identify pain points within their experience has huge value. Asking colleagues to provide clarity and feedback on internal pinch points and process failures will highlight what’s working and what’s not from a business perspective. Aligning this feedback with the customer viewpoint offers a rounded view which provides a holistic foundation to base any changes.
Co-creation activities, online focus groups and short-term communities are all great tools to help engage colleagues and unlock their expertise and experience to help define a solution. Ultimately, leveraging your greatest asset will result in better processes, an empowered workforce with internal champions and a smoother implementation as colleagues can see how it will benefit them and customers.
And that must be a good thing.
Melanie Lewis works as Maru/edr’s resident Telecomms, Media and Technology specialist, exploring how new innovations and trends are impacting the marketplace. Contact Mel directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on LinkedIn.