improve customer experience in telecoms

Re-imagining Commerce in Telco: how to thrive in the digital age

You want to buy a pair of trainers. You type “buy trainers” into Google, pick a digital store with good reviews and browse through the products. When you find a pair you like, you go to the guest check-out, fill in your details, make the payment and the job is done. Online shopping? Easy, isn’t it?

Now consider the process of buying a mobile phone online. After deciding on a network provider, you’re faced with rows and rows of different handsets and data, text and minutes bundles, when you go their online store. How can you determine what’s better value? And these are just a few of the problems before you’ve moved on to credit agreements, insurance options and contract length.

It’s clear to see why telco brands have some of the most complex digital set-ups – and why it’s so important to get the customer journey right.  Get it wrong and customers can be left with slow, fragmented and inconsistent experiences across all channels, with retailers missing out on sales and long-term loyalty.

We take a look at some of the solutions and business models that can help telcos transform their business and deliver a better all-round customer experience.

3 ways to improve customer experience in telecoms


1. Personalise the customer journey with recommendation algorithms

Many digital retailers and businesses are using recommendation algorithm tools to help improve the customer journey and experience. Amazingly, around 80 per cent of Netflix’s traffic comes through customers being recommended films and shows onsite.

By suggesting options based on a customer’s preferences, past purchases, search history and so on, assistance tools can help simplify the decision-making process and help customers through the site more easily.  This cuts the time spent online and alleviates frustrations that often lead to abandoned baskets.

SQLI’s recent partnership with Tesco Mobile included the implementation of a complex omnichannel solution using the whole Adobe Experience Cloud suite. Among the many integrations involved was solution 15 Gifts, a tool that combines consumer psychology and machine learning to ‘humanise online sales journeys.’  

The engine helps businesses understand buying motivations, builds profiles and engages with customers at the right time to help with decision making and tailoring the buying experiences of each visitor.

2. Improve customer service

Customer service - and how businesses deal with queries quickly and effectively to help boost sales – is an area that needs improving in the telco industry. A recent Which? survey found customers placed telco among the bottom industries when it came to the service they’d received.

More brands are now turning to Live Chat to add another layer of communication to their digital solution. A Live Chat platform can be integrated within an online store

to help increase conversions, enhance customer satisfaction and retention and generate new leads.

If a customer is having a hard time understanding a contract or choosing the right package, a Live Chat message popping up at the right moment can often fulfil the same function as a shop floor assistant by answering any queries, guiding the customer to a certain product and generally putting their mind at rest.

Some service solution software has Live Chat as part of the suite, meaning businesses can ensure a joined-up, seamless experience for customers and staff alike. Platforms like Zendesk allow digital retailers to connect with customers over any channel – while connecting the team behind the scenes as well.

Could you go a step further and connect with customers over social media platforms? According to a McKinsey report, one telco company was able to reduce the number of customer calls by a million a month by providing what it termed ‘online selfcare’, through services provided on Twitter and Facebook.

3. Simplify information, deals and packages

One of the many struggles for customers shopping for mobile phones online is the sheer volume of information available to them, and the number of deals and packages to have to choose between.

Customers want easy access to information and don’t want to be overwhelmed by having too many choices to make. They want to be able to compare products and services quickly in order to make informed decisions and purchases.

With different products, contract lengths, tariffs, credit checking, upselling and cross-selling needing to be built into the customer journey, simplifying the process can be difficult - but it is a necessity.

SQLI has supported its partners in doing this – while also helping stripping back and streamlining the deals and packages being offered.

During the Tesco Mobile project, one of the many integrations SQLI implemented was search solution Algolia. With AI capabilities, it facilitates faster searches and federated search on the product listings page – with federated search helping customers retrieve information from different locations, quicker. With less clicks needed to find and compare products, retailers see vastly-improved click-through and conversion rates.

Algolia also works seamlessly with Reevoo, a review and ratings solution with customer reviews, again helping provide a clearer understanding of a product or service and helping with decision making.

In conclusion

A typical telco brand has so many products, services and deals to promote on its digital store, it simply can’t be a one-click journey for customers.

But, at the same time, the experience has to be simple and streamlined so that customers can confidently and efficiently make better, more informed decisions.

For now, think:

  • Personalise customer experiences. Can you use recommendation solutions to help customers make easier decisions by highlighting options based on their preferences, or what other customers have opted for?
  • Improve customer service. Could Live Chat cut down on abandoned baskets by offering advice or answering queries at crucial stages of the user journey?
  • Simplify information. Ensure that customers can access the information they need with minimal effort.  Telcos must strive for clarity, simplicity and ease of understanding - making it easier for customers to navigate through their online offerings.

These are just a few of the ways SQLI is helping brands in the telco industry reimagine their digital offerings.

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