Omni-digital Customer Care for TelCos - conference at Telecoms World Asia

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28-03-2018

In a digital world evolving rapidly where consumers need things faster, how can telecoms keep up and delight their customers? Invited to talk at Telecoms World Asia on behalf of Dimelo, I presented the major challenges and solutions for an outstanding customer experience. Here is a short summary of the presentation as well as the entire video below.

JulienRio.com: Conference Telecoms World Asia Customer Care Dimelo

An example of poor customer experience

I recently received a (paper) letter, in France, from my bank in Hong Kong.

The letter was saying "Dear Mr Rio, there appears to be a problem with your account, please call us urgently on our hotline".

It was night time in France, so I knew I would never be able to get someone over the phone in Hong Kong because of time difference. Instead, I went on the bank's website and wrote them an email.

About a week later, I received a reply: "Dear Mr. Rio, We are sorry to inform you that the department dealing with this kind of issue is a different one, please call them directly through our hotline". I was back to square one.

So I called the hotline. It was obviously an international call, hence expensive. I called then waited. One minute. Two minutes. Three minutes. Five minutes. "Please hold the line, an agent will be with you soon."

Six minutes. Eight minutes. Ten minutes. "Sorry, all our lines are currently busy, please call again later". And it hanged up.

How frustrating a customer experience was that?

But I did not give up! I called again a second time. Then a third. Then a fourth. Only then, someone finally picked up the phone, kept me waiting a while longer to finally announce me that the problem had already been solved.

This might have been the single most frustrating customer experience in my life (or... was it?)

What went wrong

Let's take a minute to review the three major flaws of this customer experience.

1. Forced channel

I am not a fan of calling hotlines. I'd much rather send an email of chat via a messaging app. The first mistake was to (1) force me to use a channel I did not select, (2) force me to pay for it and (3) force me to respect specific working hours from a different time zone.

2. Long waiting time

The second mistake concerns the incredibly long and frustrating waiting time: one week for an email, 4 times ten minutes over the line to get a grip of someone.

3. Lack of internal communication

The third mistake concerns the terrible lack of communication between the various departments who could not discuss internally to review my problem but had me contact them separately.

JulienRio.com: Conference Telecoms World Asia Customer Care Dimelo

 

The impact for the company

This kind of experience generates three major impacts for the company:

1. Customer dissatisfaction

I would rather say I'm never going to be a brand ambassador for that company. 

2. Increase of backlog

I had to contact this company 5 times (once through email, 4 times by phone) to solve a problem that apparently did not even matter.

If the company does this kind of thing with every customer, it means they multiply by 5 the amount of incoming messages they have to treat.

3. Increase of staff

The direct consequence of an increase of incoming messages is an increase of manpower to treat such messages. It means more staff to recruit, to train, to manage.

At the end of the day, all these errors lead to one global consequence:

A loss of profit for the company

JulienRio.com: Conference Telecoms World Asia Customer Care Dimelo 

What your customers want

The rules of the game have changed tremendously in the past few years.

Companies such as Amazon, Airbnb, Lazada, Grab, Uber, BlaBlaCar have changed the customers' expectations landscape.

Consumers no longer understand why some companies will let them select convenient communication channels and reply instantly while more traditional ones will force them to use specific channels and take ages to respond.

Customer expectations have evolved, so should the experience you offer.

JulienRio.com: Conference Telecoms World Asia Customer Care Dimelo

 

Be where your customers are

In South East Asia, 85% of the online population uses AT LEAST one Social Media or Messaging app several times a day. In average, people spend 3h a day on these apps.

If your customers can spend 3h of their time each day on such platform, can you afford not to be available there?

The difficulty is to select the right digital channels to delight your customers.

JulienRio.com: Conference Telecoms World Asia Customer Care Dimelo 

Identifying your customers

One of the major customer care challenge companies face (often without realizing it) is the identification of their customers.

In the physical world, recognizing your customers is easy. But in the digital world, the rules are different. 

How do you know that @JohnDoe on Twitter is the same person as john.doe@gmail.com via email or +336459300xx on Messenger?

Not being able to identify your customers has two dramatic consequences:

1. You increase by three folds the volume of incoming messages

In average, a dissatisfied customer uses three different channels to get his problem solved faster. He may send you an email while calling you and sending you a tweet. If you cannot identify this is the same person speaking, you end up dealing three times with the same problem.

2. You frustrate your customers

There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than having to repeat himself over and over again.

When you fail to identify your digital customers, you force them to respond to questions they have already answered and explain their problem once again.

JulienRio.com: Conference Telecoms World Asia Customer Care Dimelo

 

Key takeaways

Here are a few key takeaways I ended this presentation with.

It is all about being on the right channels, where you customers need you most and spend most time, and providing a consistent experience across channels. Your customers will not understand a difference of service level from one channel to the other: they want their problems solved regardless of the channel they contacted you through.

JulienRio.com: Conference Telecoms World Asia Customer Care Dimelo

 

This article is just a very short summary of the presentation: I invite you to watch it entirely below (20 minutes) to discover more challenges to outstanding digital customer care and what kind of solution Dimelo offers to help you digitalize your customer experience.

 

 

You wish to go to the next step? Discover this excluvie guide written by 12 international customer care experts for an outstanding customer care experience

Julien Rio.

Last update: 2018-06-15 Tags:

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