Telco customers today have a wide range of services and providers from which to choose, yet most behave in surprisingly similar ways with any company in the industry. Identifying experience points within the customer lifecycle, and more importantly, where improvements can be made, strengthens the process, impacting customer decisions and cementing relationships for the best business impact.
In parts one and two of a multipart series, I introduced key challenges and goals of awareness and conversion, the first two of seven phases that define the Telco customer lifecycle. In this piece, I discuss the third phase—onboarding, along with challenges and solutions in driving a multichannel onboarding strategy.
The Telco Onboarding Process Is Suffering
Consumers today have a high level of satisfaction when buying telecommunication devices. Their state-of-the-art features, slim design, and more leave users feeling euphoric upon receiving a new device. As the digital market expands and matures, the industry has chosen to enhance customer experience by improving products and services—despite failing processes designed to attract and bring new customers on board.
As the most important phase in the customer/Telco relationship, onboarding strives to offer customers a seamless experience, yet it lags behind in both customer service and cost. In fact, satisfaction scores decrease from 10 out of 10 at the buying stage to as low as 0 out of 10 when customers actually receive their devices. Challenges arise in the form of long wait times when ordering products, inadequate communications before and after receiving devices, and confusing billing, resulting in less than superior customer experiences.
From the moment an order is placed, ineffective communication leaves many confused. Often customers have no idea when they will receive their goods as credit vetting and locating out-of-stock items causes major delays. Once devices arrive, there are even more problems. Confusing or unclear directions on how to use or activate devices, nonexistent how-to guides, and payment plans structured to fit around billing cycles rather than purchase dates leave customers unimpressed.
Next-Generation Onboarding Goals—Automated, Integrated, and Multichannel
Enhancing customer onboarding experiences with new and renewed contracts is the key to responding to competitive pressure in a growing Telco industry. By leveraging the right customer data assets, providers can deliver automated, integrated, and multichannel onboarding processes, creating valuable customer experiences. The first few days and weeks of a new contract set the tone for the rest of the experience for Telco customers, and providers who inform, assist, and train customers in setting up or adding services to devices will be one step closer to optimising the onboarding process.
Personalised, interactive communications. Done well, personalised, interactive communication results in more satisfied customers that invest more time and money in products and services. Build a personalised onboarding plan that outlines each step of the onboarding journey, from initial credit check to taking delivery and setting up devices. An easy-to-understand welcome kit complete with how-to guides, video, and explanation of the billing process can alleviate much customer dissatisfaction. And, more importantly, reduce calls to contact centres, in turn reducing the overall cost to serve your customer base. For customers looking to engage with others, online forums can provide information in real time.
Integrated multichannel communications. Ongoing, relevant, and personalised communications across the lifecycle of contracts can address unanswered questions, and explain what to expect or how to get more from devices based on usage or others with similar behaviors or interests.
A robust onboarding process is the key to maintaining a trusted relationship through the entire Telco customer lifecycle. Getting it right early on ensures that customers are open to having ongoing dialogue with the operator across the lifecycle of the contract, rather than just at points in time where service or device issues need to be addressed. And while relationship building begins long before the onboarding process, companies who orchestrate successful customer experiences, from enrollment to cross-sell and upsell activities will be positioned to provide exceptional, personalised experiences that customers want and deserve.
In my next edition, I will take a look at how you can continue the dialogue and drive cross-sell and upsell opportunities to not only increase monthly revenue, but also increase or maintain consumers’ level of satisfaction with their operator.