Improving the Telco Customer Journey — Driving a Multichannel Onboarding Strategy

Customer Experience

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.

Customer Experience
Chris Jenkins

Posted on 13-03-2017

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