This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Stacey Kuyf, writer and content strategist for atmail
The telecommunications industry is extremely competitive, as telcos race to convert to 5G, migrate to the cloud, implement AI and big data strategies, and ensure they don’t get left behind. Customer loyalty is no longer a given, and businesses must determine how to keep current customers happy, attract new customers, and increase profits.
A recent study found that failing to value and listen to customers costs businesses approximately $136 billion each year due to customer switching. It’s easy to see why, since attracting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing customer.
While churn is increasing, revenue continues to decrease for telcos around the world. This is due to services like iMessage, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Facetime, all of which are expected to lead to a $50 billion decrease in revenue between 2017 and 2022 for telcos around the globe.
So how can telcos grow revenue and encourage customer loyalty?
With revenue from voice and data services falling globally, telcos must find alternative revenues in order to stay competitive. Many are turning to OTT partnerships, digitisation, infrastructure upgrades, IoT, and more. Business leaders in the industry must decide whether the gamble on expensive infrastructure projects and new technology like the IoT is worth it. The other option? Tapping into their existing services or value-added services.
One way to do this is through branded email hosting. This allows telcos to provide their customers with secure, hosted email accounts featuring their own branding. This increases brand recognition and loyalty and helps reduce the likelihood of churn. By offering this extra service, telcos can take the opportunity to build a solid relationship with customers, along with upsell, advertising, and cross-sell opportunities.
Of course, fighting customer churn involves prioritising the customer experience. For loyal customers, there is often no real benefit or recognition for staying with their current telco. This is why telcos should be aiming to provide a full range of services- including email, while ensuring that customers have the best possible experience during every interaction with their company.
Big data can also translate to big value for telcos. McKinsey has found that companies using big data and analytics have profitability and productivity rates that are 5-6% higher than their competitors. Telcos can use data-driven analytics to answer the most important questions about who their customers are, what they’re looking for, and the best ways to increase profits.
Telcos are also increasingly using multichannel support, which is particularly valuable for busy customers who don’t necessarily want to wait on hold. Instead, they can chat with staff online, fix problems with the help of a chatbot, and even receive a quick response via social media.
While telcos have been suffering from high customer churn for some time, forward-thinking companies are finding ways to reduce this churn by offering a variety of services like branded email. They’re also using big data and analytics to provide better service, and making it easy for customers to communicate with them in a variety of different ways.