5 Ways Telecom Companies can Improve NPS with Real-Time Analytics
By Megan Wells
If you’ve ever visited a restaurant because your friends loved it or posted on Facebook asking for a good dentist, then you know the power of word-of-mouth advertising. A recent Nielsen survey found that 88 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising.
“Friends and family” might seem like a small group, but due to the interconnected nature of the online world, we all see a constant stream of feedback—good, bad, or indifferent—on the services and products our networks use.
Given the power these voices hold when taken in aggregate, the rise of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measure of customer satisfaction is fitting. Instantly recognizable by its simple, one-question format, NPS measures the propensity of your customers to recommend your product or service, versus telling people to steer clear.
Unfortunately for the industry, telecom companies traditionally score lower than most others, with an average NPS of 31. In an effort to change this, however, many telecom brands have shifted their focus towards the customer experience (CX) in recent years.
So how can you stand out in a crowded field, and for the right reasons? Let’s dive into why understanding NPS is critical for telecom brands and how to improve it by focusing on CX.
A negative NPS does a lot of damage
At its core, NPS is a simple metric. Ask all of your customers a single question: “How likely are you to recommend our product or service to others?” Then, compare the ratio of positive and negative responses. If every response was negative (also known as “detractors”), your score would be -100. Conversely, a set of purely positive responses (known as “promoters”) would be 100. Technically, any score greater than 0 is good, as it means you have more promoters than detractors, but higher is always better.
However, the consequences of a low NPS extend beyond simply looking at a number, as it’s a leading indicator of several risks for your brand:
- Fewer new customers: If a big chunk of your existing users is reluctant to recommend you, or worse, telling people to avoid your brand, it’s going to be harder to attract new customers. This is especially true for telecom, where consumers have ample choices and frequently compare notes on how satisfied they are with their services.
- Increased costs: When a customer is dissatisfied, their first step is usually to seek out support. In turn, when a bigger portion of your customer base needs support, you will need to spend more on customer service, technical support, and field support agents.
- Slower financial growth: Financial growth depends on both increasing revenue and stabilizing or reducing costs. With a low NPS score, you’re at risk of missing both criteria, as you’ll be bringing in fewer revenue-generating users, and spending more to retain existing customers.
- Damaged reputation: Havas Group research found that 75% of brands could disappear and the average consumer wouldn’t care. In an age of such cynicism, trust and a strong reputation are the keystones of your relationship with your customers.
Why NPS is essential for telecom success
Telecom is an incredibly competitive industry. In a field where the core service is similar between companies—whether it’s home internet, mobile, or B2B service—CX is a key differentiator.
When you’re competing on CX, customer satisfaction has several critical effects on your brand:
- Increased revenue: NPS is one of many analytical tools at your disposal, and it’s a big one. Happy customers will not only spread the word to new customers, they’re also more likely to spend more on your services and products.
- Lower cost-to-serve: When fewer of your customers are detractors, you can spend less time and money when dealing with complaints–and deploy those resources to other areas that foster growth.
- Higher customer lifetime value: Happy customers will stick around for longer, and they’re more likely to take a chance on new services. It’s notably easier to upsell to a promoter of your brand than it is to a customer who’s already thinking of switching providers.
- Reduced churn: The telecom industry has an average churn rate of 22 percent—meaning one in five of your customers is likely on their way out the door. Reducing churn lets your marketing team focus on bringing in new users, rather than trying to mollify disgruntled customers.
- Improved customer feedback loop: Communicative customers are easier and less costly to keep happy. Satisfied customers will report issues while they’re small, giving you the opportunity to make things right. On the other hand, detractors often leave without a word.
5 ways to improve NPS and the customer experience
Given the less-than-stellar NPS scores across telecom companies, it’s clear that something needs to change. Here are five key places to start:
- 1. Facilitate omni-channel communication: According to an Avochato survey, 63% of respondents would switch to a company that uses text messaging as a communication channel. But the takeaway isn’t just to enable SMS and call it a day. It’s to understand how your customers want to connect with you, and then provide it to them. The easier it is for them to get help, the more satisfied they’ll be.
- 2. Build out a process for complaints: Reaching 100% customer satisfaction is a tall order, and a daunting mountain to face. Some customers will always experience service issues, faulty products, or general discontent. The key is to have a plan in place to rapidly catch customer issues, route them to someone who can provide resolution, and maximize the opportunity to turn a problem into a success story.
- 3. Analyze NPS distribution: Dive into the customer journeys of both your promoters and detractors. Where are your detractors hitting friction points, and how can you fix them? What’s leading to promoters’ satisfaction and how can you help other users reach that level of contentment with your service?
- 4. Encourage customer loyalty: Customer retention shouldn’t be passive or reactive, such as waiting for a weekly report to see how happy your users are. Take a hands-on approach by offering perks, rewards, and programs that foster both customer satisfaction and open communication. More often than not, personalization can go a long way in retaining customers.
- 5. Leverage real-time customer feedback: When customers have a problem, they want it solved quickly–and leveraging real-time analytics can help brands do so with ease. Likewise, timing is everything for loyalty-driving efforts, too. For example, imagine the frustrating feeling of getting a discount coupon just a tad too late after making your purchase. With real-time analytics, you can process billions of touchpoints as they’re happening, and turn them into actionable insight to rapidly and efficiently impact CX and NPS.
Improve your CX and NPS with Scuba
While NPS itself is a relatively simple metric, understanding the why and how behind the score is anything but. Increasing customer satisfaction takes time, effort, and a methodical approach to measuring progress.
The most important tool you can leverage is a customer intelligence platform like Scuba to harness the power of your customers’ data. With Scuba’s help, Comcast was able to drastically improve its CX, resulting in 11.3 million fewer support calls and a significantly improved NPS.
Providing customer journey analytics in real-time, highly customizable KPI dashboards, and intuitive query tools that democratize data access, Scuba can help you better serve your users and deliver a superior CX.
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