Just How Important Are Customer Experiences?

By TechZone360 Special Guest
Stephane Bourque, president & CEO, Incognito Software Systems
April 15, 2015

In 2015, mature markets like North America and Western Europe saw Internet penetration exceed 80 percent (with the United States nearing 90 percent). This high level of adoption has shifted the focus of service providers across these regions to heavily invest in customer experience management platforms instead of attracting new customers with advertisements.

This shift isn’t just specific to data services. Help Scout recently compiled data from a variety of sources that found there are a number of reasons that businesses everywhere are implementing more robust customer management solutions.

On average:

  • 78 percent of consumers have left a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience (American Express)
  • It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current one (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
  • 3–5 customers would try a new brand or company for a better service experience (American Express)
  • 91 percent of unhappy customers will not willingly do business again if they’ve received bad customer service (Lee Resources)

The numbers are astounding. It’s clear that customer experience is a key driver to keep revenue streams flowing. But what about increasing the bottom line?

  • The probability of selling to a new prospect is between 5–20 percent, while probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60–70 percent (Marketing Metrics)
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
  • Resolving a complaint in the customer’s favour means they will do business with you again 70 percent of the time (Lee Resources)

A great customer experience not only reduces churn to keep revenue streams flowing – it actually makes increasing revenue much easier.

Image via Shutterstock

Unfortunately, statistics show us that most businesses fall short of customer expectations. In general, 75 percent of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, while 67 percent of customers hang up their phones out of frustration they could not talk to a real person. These numbers are crucial to any organization that wants to ensure consumer happiness, because on average it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.

So, as an operator, what can you do? How can you improve customer experiences to reduce churn and increase revenue?

5 Easy Ways to Improve Customer Experiences

In the 2014 American Consumer Satisfaction Index report, ISPs scored lower than all other related industries. Don’t let this be an indication of your business. Here are 5 easy ways to improve customer experiences:

  • Smarter network and subscriber data: It all starts with better data. By implementing a solution that collects, analyzes, and normalizes key data elements within your service network, you’ll be able to make better decisions to improve your customer’s experiences. Gathering smarter network data sounds like a big task, but it doesn’t have to be a manual process. With the right platform, you can automatically generate the key network and subscriber analytics that you need to make better decisions about where to invest in infrastructure upgrades, and which customers to target for marketing promotions.
  • Rapid, device-agnostic service activation: When subscribers purchase their devices, they expect them to just work. That’s why you need a solution that quickly activates services to any device. If you enable your subscribers with fast-working devices, you’ve already cut out the chance for initial pain points in a subscriber’s experience.
  • Fix problems before they affect the subscriber: You need to find ways to proactively resolve device and network issues before they affect the subscriber. As bandwidth consumption volumes steadily increase — due to an influx of OTT content and multiple connected devices within subscriber homes — no service network is completely prepared to handle future bandwidth requirements. In addition, you can never be certain that third-party hardware vendor equipment will work as expected. But with customizable real-time key-performance indicators, operators increase visibility into their networks to help mitigate network and device problems before a subscriber has a chance to complain.
  • Fast and intuitive customer management portals: If an issue does affect a subscriber, you need to make sure you have fast and intuitive customer management portals. To achieve this, you need remote access into the subscriber premises to see all customer premises equipment — everything on the last mile, from gateways and IPTVs to WiFi and LTE-connected devices. With remote access into customer diagnostics and intuitive customer management portals, CSRs are better equipped to solve customer problems and keep subscriber experiences positive.
  • Keep CPE up-to-date: You need to ensure that CPE is kept up-to-date with the latest firmware releases. Typically, a firmware update process is a hectic event for operation teams. There is ample opportunity for something to go wrong, whether it’s a network issue or accidental subscriber interference. That’s why you need a robust firmware management solution that gives you the ability to orchestrate firmware updates automatically with real-time visibility into successes and failures. To go a step further, your firmware management solution should allow you to correct failures on the fly, so that you can ensure a successful end to your operation.

By improving your ability to manage customer experiences, you’ll not only see reduced churn, but also a higher ARPU and increased incoming revenue. 




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