Improving the Telco Customer Journey: Cross-selling as a Strategic Objective

Customer Experience

A new gen­er­a­tion of con­sumers has emerged — and their expec­ta­tions are high­er than ever. Smart com­pa­nies are lever­ag­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to improve cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion through dynam­ic cross-sell­ing.

Effec­tive cross-sell­ing strat­e­gy — mar­ket­ing new prod­ucts to exist­ing cus­tomers, fos­ters loy­al­ty, increas­es rev­enue and dri­ves com­pet­i­tive advan­tage. Yet, in the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions indus­try, where volatil­i­ty is high and cus­tomer loy­al­ty tends to be low, strate­gies encour­ag­ing cus­tomers to stay with one provider for mul­ti­ple ser­vices are under per­form­ing.

A new gen­er­a­tion of con­sumers has emerged — and their expec­ta­tions are high­er than ever. Smart com­pa­nies are lever­ag­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to improve cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion through strate­gic pri­or­i­ties designed to enhance sup­port, per­son­alise com­mu­ni­ca­tions and ensure dynam­ic cross-sell­ing, offer­ing and deliv­er­ing cus­tomers the ser­vices they want and need.

In pre­vi­ous posts, I intro­duced key chal­lenges and goals of Aware­ness, Con­ver­sion and Onboard­ing, the first three of sev­en phas­es that define the Tel­co cus­tomer life­cy­cle. In this piece, I dis­cuss the fourth phase — Cross-sell­ing, along with chal­lenges and solu­tions for dri­ving an effec­tive mul­ti-chan­nel cross-sell­ing strat­e­gy.

Key Chal­lenges

Ensur­ing Per­son­alised, Ongo­ing and Real Time Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. In many cas­es, com­mu­ni­ca­tion between Tel­co rep­re­sen­ta­tives and cus­tomers is either non-exis­tent or ill informed, with many cus­tomers inun­dat­ed with irrel­e­vant offers. Media plans that go beyond acqui­si­tion mes­sag­ing focused on prospects to using knowl­edge to cre­ate per­son­alised pro­mo­tions based on what we know about the prospect or cus­tomer is smart. Deliv­er­ing appro­pri­ate, high­ly per­son­alised con­tent not only improves the aver­age rev­enue of cus­tomers, but also, reduces churn as the need to shop around for new deals declines.

Look­ing at the com­mu­ni­ca­tion curve of an aver­age Tel­co cus­tomer over the full life­cy­cle, we see two spikes: when devices are first acquired and when it’s time to renew or ter­mi­nate ser­vice. Dur­ing the remain­ing time — known as the util­i­ty phase, cus­tomers only make con­tact if there is a prob­lem with the device or ser­vice. Main­tain­ing rel­e­vant con­ver­sa­tions with cus­tomers from the onboard­ing stage is key, but com­mu­ni­ca­tions need to take into account not just cus­tomer seg­ments, but also, real time actions they take across the dig­i­tal estate.

A mix of tra­di­tion­al offers cre­at­ed from base knowl­edge and propen­si­ty mod­el­ing as well as real time under­stand­ing of cus­tomer inter­ac­tions ensures more rel­e­van­cy to the cus­tomer, but can also dri­ve con­ver­sion. For exam­ple, if the deci­sion engine iden­ti­fies the next best action for a cus­tomer as a data bun­dle, but the cus­tomer is view­ing pages relat­ed to roam­ing, it makes sense to over­ride the data bun­dle in favor of a roam­ing bun­dle. This may even pre­vent neg­a­tive feed­back if the cus­tomer trav­els and sees a sig­nif­i­cant increase in his or her bill. A move towards a test and learn approach where mes­sag­ing and offers take into con­sid­er­a­tion real time inter­ac­tions is a sim­ple con­cept, yet few oper­a­tors take advan­tage of real time activ­i­ties.

Align­ing Offers and Cus­tomers. While the final result is impor­tant when it comes to cross-sell­ing, it is also impor­tant to review rea­sons why cus­tomers are not tak­ing up the offers being pre­sent­ed. Is loca­tion to blame? Are you pre­sent­ing pro­mo­tions that have no con­text to the pages cus­tomers are brows­ing? Or, is it the way offers are being pre­sent­ed — bill insert ver­sus push noti­fi­ca­tion ver­sus embed­ded in the page?

Too often, cus­tomers are pre­sent­ed with acqui­si­tion mes­sages when in fact they are exist­ing cus­tomers. Using data points such as cook­ie infor­ma­tion and mobile num­bers allow oper­a­tors to sup­press acqui­si­tion mes­sages, cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for cus­tomers to see rel­e­vant cross-sell pro­mo­tions.

Under­stand­ing which offers con­vert best and align­ing them to cus­tomer seg­ments is key.

Pro­mot­ing Orga­ni­za­tion­al Effi­cien­cy and Col­lab­o­ra­tion With mul­ti­ple teams com­pet­ing with one anoth­er across sales, mar­ket­ing, CVM, enter­prise and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, orga­ni­za­tion­al effi­cien­cies suf­fer. Tel­co com­pa­nies strug­gle to col­lab­o­rate across con­sumer, enter­prise and mobile, fixed, broad­band and Tv. Con­flict is often the result of dif­fer­ent tar­gets focused on indi­vid­ual busi­ness units and not the cus­tomer. Imag­ine what could be achieved with more col­lab­o­ra­tion across the busi­ness with aligned suc­cess met­rics around the cus­tomer, shared intel­li­gence and com­mon goals.

In a world of erod­ing ARPU’s, the abil­i­ty to have con­ver­sa­tions with cus­tomers that demon­strate what is in their best inter­est will sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce churn and improve cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. For Tel­co,

cus­tomer expe­ri­ence man­age­ment is a top strate­gic pri­or­i­ty. Effec­tive cross-sell­ing requires the cre­ation of an end-to-end cus­tomer life­cy­cle plan that ensures high­er lev­els of cus­tomer ser­vice, loy­al­ty and spend.

Customer Experience
Chris Jenkins

Posted on 03-21-2017

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