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Today’s telcom subscribers base their decisions to stay with a current service provider on one thing – their experience.
In an industry where churn is a major issue and multiple vendors appear to deliver similar solutions, telecom companies must be able to differentiate their business and engage emotionally with their customers if they hope to increase retention.
Telecommunications companies should aim to create profound customers experiences across every touch point and every stage of the customer’s journey. Even in operative areas such as billing, a small change and a more personalized touch can have a significant impact on brand affinity and loyalty. Here are a few ways telecom companies can personalize their customer interactions to enhance their overall customer experience.
The onboarding process is your first opportunity to convey the value you are providing and frame their experience in a positive light. And, it’s a great time to contact them – subscribers are more open to your overtures when they are newly acquired. Once they’ve switched (or signed up with a new service provider) they’re excited to see what you have in store for them. Personalizing that experience early on with welcome videos, and overviews of helpful online and mobile resources will get your relationship off on the right track and emotionally connect the user to the new brand giving him the feeling that you are as a vendor different than other since you are investing in each user on a personal level.
One of the biggest US telecom companies, Cricket Telecom, uses personalized video communications to highlight the value that they provide – instead of focusing on billing, restrictions and payments. During the onboarding process, Cricket uses a campaign called “LLIB” or “Let’s Look Inside your Bucket” showing the client the services they receive, complementary products and the amount they save in a humoristic and fun way. By enriching the onboarding process and continuously contacting customers with personalized video campaigns throughout the year, Cricket reduced early churn by 37% and saw a significant increase in its Net Promoter Score.
Billing issues are a great source of customer confusion and frustration – problems that can end up generating many calls to customer service and end up costing the provider a fortune. A recent study from the Database Marketing Institute shows that if a customer is personally contacted by his telecom provider to address his concerns about billing – before he has the chance to make the call himself – the likelihood of retaining him as a customer is dramatically higher. A proactive approach makes people feel more like “valued clients”.. This approach has been found exceptionally effective in reducing early churn of first 90 days in telecom companies.
So how can telecom companies use this idea to their advantage?
Most misunderstandings happen when subscribers get that first bill. Because initial service typically starts mid-billing cycle, most telecom companies don’t send their customers a bill for that first period – they simply add that smaller amount onto the following month’s charges. This practice, called proration, is the biggest driver for customer complaints and calls into customer service in the first 90 days of new customers’ subscription.
Subscribers will understand billing issues better when they can really see what you’re talking about. Service providers that use video to provide a clear explanation of what that first bill contains – as opposed to sending a straight usage listing – will find that these communications are far more likely to be fully reviewed and understood from the start. As a result, there will be fewer calls to customer service and early churn will decrease significantly. By addressing questions proactively and clearing up misunderstanding before they arise, you can reduce customer frustration and eliminate a possible reason to let the previous vendor regain a customer in the endless battle for retention.
According to KISSmetrics, it costs 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. This makes every dollar you spend on customer retention far more valuable to your business.
Leading telcos like Cricket Telecom, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and O2 work hard to keep their marketing programs highly personalized and engaging – and video plays a big role. They use these personalized videos to reach out to customers at numerous points throughout the buying cycle with campaigns that explain, educate and introduce them to complementary products or to celebrate personal occasions. Imagine if a customer got an offer like this: “Susan, we saw that you spent $24 on extra phone calls last month, our unlimited voice plan is just $13 per month.” How could she resist?
By presenting clear, visually appealing yet highly personalized content, leading telcos have been able to build a stronger, more emotional connection with each and every customer. With such high engagement rates, users are highly motivated to take action – subscribe to an e-portal or download an app. Thanks to its social virility, personalized welcome videos for new customers are fast becoming the standard in telecom companies worldwide.
Your customers are your greatest asset – and your greatest advocates. By creating personalize video marketing programs that strengthen relationships and engage with customers on a deeper level, telecom companies can begin cultivating customers for life – people that will spread the word about you to their friends and network. As telecom companies look for new ways to differentiate themselves in the digital age, the companies that can best create a profound customer experience will be the ones that rise to the top.
Adam is a market associate at Idomoo, writing creative content, as well as, lending his voice for personalized video narration. He loves storytelling, bringing life to products with his words and insights. He also loves playing video games and watching sports. But when he is not at work you will find him with his kids and family. He is also on twitter @adamtitcher.