Office Worker Wearing a Telephone HeadsetIf you’re a telecommunications (Telecom) service provider, customer churn isn’t new to you. It’s a plague that you’ve been dealing with for decades and it can never be completely brought to zero either. Customer churn costs you money, so the questions become, ”How much churn are you willing to live with and what strategies can you deploy to keep churn manageable?”

Estimates place the current churn for wireless companies at between 10% to 65% annually. That means, if you‘re at the top end, your entire customer base turns over in less than 18 months!

Of course, one company’s churn is another company’s acquisition. Customers leave for many reasons, like the quality of products, availability of services, network coverage in their calling area, and price. But above all, customers leave because of how they’re treated.

A negative customer experience can occur during any phase of the customer’s contact with the company. Up front when they sign up for the service, during the provisioning phase, or later on in the cycle when he/she contacts their Telecom for customer service (for help or questions related to billing, and so on).

Focusing on providing superior customer experience throughout the customer life cycle could be the Telecoms’ ticket to lower customer churn and higher profits.

Improve Customer Experience to Reduce Churn

There are well known strategies to providing a superior customer experience, and many of these relate to how the call center deals with the irate/upset customer who has called in with a problem. But don’t you agree with me that this is somewhat backwards?

Why not contact the customer proactively—when you know the customer is going to be upset regarding some aspect of your service? Or is it possible that you, as a Telecom, don’t know how to do this?

Utilize Advanced Analytics to Improve Customer Service

Advanced analytics tools can access and analyze large amounts of data in real time—and they can help you get ahead of the curve and turn a potential customer dissatisfaction scenario into one of customer delight. The only limit to the potential improvement is one of imagination.

What if you could offer automatic credits to customers when their calls are dropped? Or provide a special offer like a coupon to a favorite coffee shop after X number of calls are dropped?

What if you could contact a customer with a special offer when there’s a billing error in their bill, even before they find the billing error? Or reach out when the provisioning of their service is delayed, or their internet bandwidth drops below the contracted rate, and so on? This could be especially critical if this is a high value customer, with a healthy per-month spend with you.

Do these ideas seem far-fetched? They aren’t technology wise. The technology exists today to make these a reality.

Take Amazon, for instance. They have implemented technology that knows exactly what’s happening to my order, including where it is, and I am advised via text message every step of the way of my order shipment.

Similarly, Telecom service providers have the contact information of their subscribers and can contact them at any point. But does my service provider ever contact me? No—never!

I pay my bill on time, I am a premium subscriber with roaming data service, and I use my phone internationally. But I don’t feel valued by my service provider. And I don’t call the call center when my calls are dropped because I think it would be a waste of time.

In fact, my service provider has never contacted me in the two years that I have been with them. So next month, I’m switching my service provider. Because, frankly, my service provider doesn’t care.

They’ll get no warning, only a call from me to port my number…..Adios.